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2 Oct, 2017

Thailand Media Panel Discussion Oct 3: Rakhine State – Southeast Asia’s ethnic flashpoint

Bangkok — The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand will be holding a panel discussion on the topics of “Rakhine State – Southeast Asia’s ethnic flashpoint” at 7pm, Tuesday 03 October, 2017. The event announcement says: 

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.

Members: free, Non-members 450 Baht, Thai journalists and Students with VALID ID: 150 Baht