Rakhine State - Southeast Asia's ethnic flashpoint
Media Panel Discussion

7pm, Tuesday 03 October, 2017
Members: free, Non-members 450 Baht, Thai journalists and Students with VALID ID: 150 Baht
People around ASEAN and well beyond are watching with mounting concern as some 400,000 Rohingyas face potentially permanent displacement into Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine state. The UN Secretary General has described the panic-stricken exodus as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. Many Rohingyas have faced violence and had their homes torched. Authorities in Myanmar say they are responding to terrorist activity and violence against Buddhists, and deny that any kind of ethnic cleansing is under way. There is meanwhile little comfort for refugees in densely populated Bangladesh, where overstretched authorities have made it clear new arrivals are not wanted. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have also turned cold shoulders to desperate Rohingyas in the past.

Apart from the terrible suffering of people who find themselves despised and stateless after lifetimes spent in Myanmar, the mounting crisis has devastated the reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counsellor and head of government. The 1991 Nobel peace laureate has denounced an 'iceberg' of false news, but largely failed to address reports that are accurate during a rare public address in English last week.

The FCCT has assembled a panel of journalists who have been following the mounting humanitarian crisis:

Gwen Robinson, chief editor, Nikkei Asian Review
Jonathan Head, BBC Southeast Asia correspondent
Anna-Lisa Fuglesang, Asia News Editor, Channel 4 News
Geoffrey Goddard, a former senior editor at the Myanmar Times who has also worked with Mizzima Media and Frontier Myanmar.

Please book early, particularly if you plan to eat from the buffet, price 250 baht.

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