The Rohingya, Ethnic Minorities, and Myanmar’s Enduring Dilemma

Memo #285

By Kazi Fahmida Farzana – fahmida [at] uum.edu.my

Will Myanmar’s Political Transition be able to Solve the Lingering Nationality Question of its Ethnic Minorities?

Myanmar in recent years has been experiencing substantive political changes in its political system with implications for its domestic policies and international relations. Since its November 2010 national elections… Continue reading

Who Will Indonesia’s “Homeless” Voters Support?

Memo #282

By  Nathan Allen – n.allen [at] alumni.ubc.ca

Indonesian voters will face significantly fewer choices in the upcoming 2014 legislative election. Where 38 parties competed in 2009, only 12 will appear on the ballot in 2014. For 16% of the electorate, their preferred party in 2009 will no longer be an option. To put it in perspective… Continue reading

Gaps in the Protection of Civilian Victims of Armed Violence

Memo #281

By Ramesh Thakur – ramesh.thakur [at] anu.edu.au

As demonstrated by recent events in Sudan, Sri Lanka, Libya, and Syria—and earlier in Rwanda, the Balkans and East Timor during the 1990s—the numbers of civilians killed in contemporary armed conflicts is intolerably high. Their plight is a lasting stain on an internationalized human conscience. Our common humanity… Continue reading

Migrant Labour in Asia: Singapore’s Recent Riot

Memo #260

By Wajihah Hamid – wajihah.hamid [at] gmail.com

Riot, angry mob? Surely unheard of in Singapore? But on Sunday, December 8, 2013, a fatal traffic accident involving a migrant worker in Singapore’s Little India sparked an angry reaction from the area’s low-waged migrant workers that morphed into a riot.

Temporary labour migration is the most… Continue reading

China’s Turn Against Law Fuels Rising Social Unrest

Memo #246

By Carl Minzner – cminzner [at] law.fordham.edu

Over the past decade, central Chinese leaders have changed course with regard to legal reforms they had pursued in the late twentieth century. This has eroded earlier state progress towards improving citizens’ access to justice, a reality that is fanning the flames of social unrest.

Over the… Continue reading

Hong Kong’s Untenable Refugee Policies

Recent demonstrations protesting Hong Kong’s zero-recognition refugee policy in April 2013 brought renewed attention to a crisis situation regarding asylum seekers in the territory. Since 2004, 12,300 asylum seekers have filed claims with Hong Kong’s Immigration Department asking to be allowed to remain on the grounds that they face torture if returned to their countries, but only one has ever been granted refugee status. Hong Kong’s refugee recognition rates are well below the international average of 13.8% reported by the United Nations, and the 20% to 38% recognition rate in liberal democracies. Continue reading

Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Tribunal – Victims’ “Right to a Remedy”

Memo #129 – Case 002 of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is underway, more than three decades after the genocide that killed 1.7 million Cambodians. On trial before a hybrid United Nations/Cambodian judiciary are the three alleged most senior remaining leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime. They face charges of crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, genocide, homicide, torture, and religious persecution. Continue reading

Asia Pacific Policy Studies (Special Edition)

Memo #124 – Our Master of Arts Asia Pacific Policy Studies (MAAPPS) is a boutique program offering training focused on the Asia Pacific to prepare graduates for professional careers in policy-analysis and policy-making. MAAPPS gives you the opportunity to focus on topics ranging from international relations and Asia’s place in the world, to human security and human rights, governance, international development and more. MAAPPS is an innovative and flexible program that can be tailored to suit you and your goals. Continue reading

Livelihood Clashes in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia

Memo #87 – The Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center, a U.S.-based group, has been reporting on protests in cities along the central-northeastern border between the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) in China and Mongolia. These reports raise the spectre of ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Mongolians. In fact, the origins of conflict are less ethnic in nature and more of a clash between traditional pastoral livelihoods and mining operations. Continue reading