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What can the world do about the Myanmar crisis?

When Myanmar’s military seized power on 1 February, it sent the country spiralling into a political and economic crisis. Despite killing hundreds of peaceful protesters and detaining thousands of activists and politicians, the military has been unable to break the civil disobedience movement. It is unable to govern Myanmar, and risks turning the country into a failed state. As the situation deteriorates, what can the world do to help resolve the Myanmar crisis?

Scot Marciel, a former US ambassador to Myanmar; Khin Ohmar, a veteran democracy activist from Myanmar; Rizal Sukma, an Indonesian foreign policy expert; and Janelle Saffin, a Labor MP and the founder of the Australia-Myanmar Parliament Group, joined Ben Bland, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute, for a discussion on the Myanmar crisis.

This Lowy Institute Live event was recorded on 7 May 2021 at 1pm AEST.

- Event Speakers -
Scot Marciel is a Visiting Scholar and Practicioner Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He was the US ambassador to Myanmar from 2016 to 2020, and previously served as US ambassador to Indonesia, US ambassador for ASEAN affairs and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific at the State Department.

Khin Ohmar is a democracy and human rights activist from Myanmar. She is the founder and chair of the advisory board of Progressive Voice, a human rights research and advocacy organisation. She was a student activist during the 1988 democracy uprising.

Janelle Saffin is a Labor MP in the New South Wales parliament and a former MP in Australia's federal parliament. She is the founder of the Australia-Myanmar Parliament Group and has extensive experience working on development and legal issues in Myanmar and Timor-Leste, where she served as a special adviser to former president and prime minister José Ramos-Horta.

Rizal Sukma is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, and the former executive director of Indonesia’s leading international think tank. He was the Indonesian ambassador to the UK from 2016 to 2020 and has served as a foreign policy adviser to President Joko Widodo.

Ben Bland is the Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. He has an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

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