In the early morning of February 1, the Myanmar military detained members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government and party, along with dozens of activists and students. The army claimed the NLD’s November 2020 election win was marred by irregularities and it declared a one-year state of emergency. The coup d’état brought an abrupt end to a decade-long, limited democratic opening that improved freedoms for many ordinary citizens, civil society and independent media in Myanmar. The coup also further imperiled the country’s minorities. Within days, however, the public responded with mass protests that spread to all segments of society, bringing public life to a halt across the country.
- How should we understand this brazen power grab by the military?
- What triggered this rapid emergence of the mass protests and could it influence the future of Myanmar?
- Moreover, what is likely to happen to the hard-won freedoms that civil society and journalists have enjoyed?
To understand this fast-developing situation, Paul Vrieze, a PhD candidate who previously worked as a journalist in Myanmar, will hold a discussion and a Q & A with:
- Esther Ze Naw Bamwaw, a youth leader at the forefront of Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement, who holds a masters degree in economics from Chiang Mai University.
- Swe Win, Editor-in-Chief of Myanmar Now news agency, and a 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award winner
- Saw Kapi, founding director of Salween Institute for Public Policy in Myanmar, and a long-time analyst of the country's politics and ethnic conflict.
This event is organized by scholars at the University of Gothenburg's School of Global Studies who have come together to analyze the implications of Myanmar’s coup from different perspectives. See our latest blogpost.
The event is part of a development research project supported by the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet (2019-05443).