"The world’s attention must remain on Myanmar, where I’ve been appalled by heartbreaking violence against civilians and inspired by the nationwide movement that represents the voice of the people. The military’s illegitimate and brutal effort to impose its will after a decade of greater freedoms will clearly never be accepted by the people and should not be accepted by the wider world" – former U.S. President Barack Obama recently wrote in a Facebook post.
The central question of the discussion will be whether there is still a chance to return to a democratic path after 75 years of turbulent civil wars and how high the price would be for achieving this. Will the newly formed National Unity Government gain international support and thus stop the bloodshed or is local grassroots activism the only key to a democratic turn?
Laura Faludi is International Peace Worker at German Civil Peace Service where she reviews Myanmar teacher’s curriculum for education universities for integration of peace education. Previously she worked with various human rights documentation initiatives, and reported and analyzed conflicts in Myanmar for international agencies such as UNDP, UNOPS and DFID, and as Program Officer for Asia Justice and Rights.
David Scott Mathieson is an independent analyst who has been working on conflict, peace, and human rights issues related to governance, political prisoners, conflict related abuses and refugee in Myanmar for over 20 years. From 2006 to 2016 he served as Senior Researcher on Myanmar for the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Irrawaddy, Asia Times, Bangkok Post and other publications.
Wai Wai Nu is the founder and Executive Director of the Women's Peace Network. She spent seven years as a political prisoner in Myanmar. Since her release from prison in 2012, she has dedicated herself to working for democracy and human rights, particularly on behalf of marginalized women and members of her ethnic group, the Rohingya. She was named one of Time magazine's Next Generation Leaders in 2017, Women of the Year by the Financial Times and Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum in 2018.
Liviu Matei is Provost of Central European University, a Professor of Higher Education Policy, and Vice Chancellor of the Open Society University Network. He taught at universities in Romania, Hungary and the U.S., consulted extensively in the area of higher education policy and conducted applied policy research projects for the World Bank, UNESCO, OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and other international organizations (intergovernmental and non-governmental), national authorities and universities from Europe and Asia.