ASEAN students discuss Myanmar’s future role

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Myanmar LSE discussion2
Student group at the Myanmar-focused discussion

In light of Myanmar’s recent historic elections, the newly formed London School of Economics Student’s Union (LSESU) ASEAN Society screened the movie “The Lady” and engaged in a discussion about Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle in nation-building and how this can affect Myanmar as well as the ASEAN region.

“The Lady’” is a 2011 French-British biographical film about Myanmar’s freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi which stars Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her late husband Michael Aris.

Jacelyn Lin, one of the conveners of the event, stated how the two-hour movie and the subsequent panel discussion session is aimed at bringing about greater awareness and interest of what is happening in Myanmar and the region.

“The movie provided a good background of Myanmar’s tumultuous history and the struggles it went through to get to where it is today,” added the LSE second-year Singaporean undergraduate student.

“We had a very thoughtful and engaging student-led discussion about the uncertainty of Myanmar’s way forward, which helped one put into perspective its implications for ASEAN and the region,” she continued.

After the movie, a panel discussion was held to reflect upon Myanmar’s status which featured two of its youth leaders namely Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee and Zaw Htun Lat. Both were Chevening scholar recipients who were awarded by the UK government to pursue their Masters in the UK for the 2015/2016 academic year session.

Myanmar LSE discussion1In the discussion, Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee, a masters student taking her MA in International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, shared how Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi plays a symbolic role when it comes to bringing hope for the millions of Myanmar people and to bringing about potent socioeconomic reforms in Myanmar.

When asked about Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee’s general thought on Aung San Suu Kyi, she said she was a powerful inspiration to her so that she went to SOAS. Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee also attributed Suu Kyi as an inspiration to co-found the Center for Academic Resource Empowerment (ICARE) and to lead the youth developmental organisation the ’Dedicated Next Generation’.

Zaw Htun Lat, a student at the University College London pursuing a Master of Science in Social Development Practice, said that Myanmar’s new de-facto leader has a monumental task ahead of her in steering the country towards better grounds. She is also faced with the task of navigating the intricacies of national issues.

This is especially true when it comes to succession planning, he said. “There is a saying which states that the National League for Democracy equals Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung San Suu Kyi equals the League. She is not easily replaced in her party, making the whole transition process highly uncertain and risky.”

When asked about the role of Myanmar’s youths when it comes to national issues, he replied that they have been historically significant, and since the recent elections, interest among the students in the country has been intensified.

“This interest in national issues among students has become all the more pronounced since she won the elections,” he added.

The role of ethnic minorities in Myanmar and their inclusion in the peace process and ceasefire agreement were major key challenges posed by Aung San Suu Kyi in the coming years, as one member of the audience pointed out.

Zaw Htun Lat mentioned that being the daughter of General Aung San, considered to be the “Father of the Nation” of Myanmar, could give Aung San Suu Kyi the advantage to strengthen the peace process among ethnic minorities and to effectively bring about greater national unity.

Benedict Nisperos, a Chevening scholar from the Philippines taking a master of Science in Local Economic Development, commented that the event are aimed at promoting intellectual awareness of what is going on in the region to not just the students in the university but those interested in the region.

Myanmar LSE discussion3“Southeast Asia has always been an interesting showcase for many social and economic issues that the world can learn from. Due to the varied demographics and context of the ASEAN member states, the region presents a rich source of case studies for academics, researches and even the general public,” he argued.

Lo Kung Yin Ian, a Regional and Urban Planning Studies postgraduate, commented: “As a Singaporean student interested in international relations, the movie and the discussion with our guest speakers from Myanmar gave me a fresh insight into what’s going on in Myanmar now, beyond what we are able to learn from the media.

“I hope that the event successfully sparked off many students’ interests in Southeast Asian affairs, especially among students who are not from the region,” he continued.

The LSESU ASEAN society is a student society based in the London School of Economics (LSE) which aims to establish greater awareness of the ASEAN region in the university and beyond.

The discussion was held at LSE’s Old Building with major support provided by the LSESU UN Society. Present in the event were twenty LSE students. Those interested to know more about the LSESU ASEAN Society can visit its Ffacebook page at “LSESU ASEAN Society”.

Abdul Malik Omar is a LSE postgraduate from Brunei, taking his Master of Science in Local Economic Development.

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[caption id="attachment_27336" align="alignleft" width="850"] Student group at the Myanmar-focused discussion[/caption] In light of Myanmar's recent historic elections, the newly formed London School of Economics Student's Union (LSESU) ASEAN Society screened the movie "The Lady" and engaged in a discussion about Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle in nation-building and how this can affect Myanmar as well as the ASEAN region. "The Lady’" is a 2011 French-British biographical film about Myanmar’s freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi which stars Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her late husband Michael Aris. Jacelyn Lin, one of the...

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Myanmar LSE discussion2
Student group at the Myanmar-focused discussion

In light of Myanmar’s recent historic elections, the newly formed London School of Economics Student’s Union (LSESU) ASEAN Society screened the movie “The Lady” and engaged in a discussion about Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle in nation-building and how this can affect Myanmar as well as the ASEAN region.

“The Lady’” is a 2011 French-British biographical film about Myanmar’s freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi which stars Malaysian Actress Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her late husband Michael Aris.

Jacelyn Lin, one of the conveners of the event, stated how the two-hour movie and the subsequent panel discussion session is aimed at bringing about greater awareness and interest of what is happening in Myanmar and the region.

“The movie provided a good background of Myanmar’s tumultuous history and the struggles it went through to get to where it is today,” added the LSE second-year Singaporean undergraduate student.

“We had a very thoughtful and engaging student-led discussion about the uncertainty of Myanmar’s way forward, which helped one put into perspective its implications for ASEAN and the region,” she continued.

After the movie, a panel discussion was held to reflect upon Myanmar’s status which featured two of its youth leaders namely Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee and Zaw Htun Lat. Both were Chevening scholar recipients who were awarded by the UK government to pursue their Masters in the UK for the 2015/2016 academic year session.

Myanmar LSE discussion1In the discussion, Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee, a masters student taking her MA in International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, shared how Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi plays a symbolic role when it comes to bringing hope for the millions of Myanmar people and to bringing about potent socioeconomic reforms in Myanmar.

When asked about Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee’s general thought on Aung San Suu Kyi, she said she was a powerful inspiration to her so that she went to SOAS. Khin Khin Kyaw Kyee also attributed Suu Kyi as an inspiration to co-found the Center for Academic Resource Empowerment (ICARE) and to lead the youth developmental organisation the ’Dedicated Next Generation’.

Zaw Htun Lat, a student at the University College London pursuing a Master of Science in Social Development Practice, said that Myanmar’s new de-facto leader has a monumental task ahead of her in steering the country towards better grounds. She is also faced with the task of navigating the intricacies of national issues.

This is especially true when it comes to succession planning, he said. “There is a saying which states that the National League for Democracy equals Aung San Suu Kyi and Aung San Suu Kyi equals the League. She is not easily replaced in her party, making the whole transition process highly uncertain and risky.”

When asked about the role of Myanmar’s youths when it comes to national issues, he replied that they have been historically significant, and since the recent elections, interest among the students in the country has been intensified.

“This interest in national issues among students has become all the more pronounced since she won the elections,” he added.

The role of ethnic minorities in Myanmar and their inclusion in the peace process and ceasefire agreement were major key challenges posed by Aung San Suu Kyi in the coming years, as one member of the audience pointed out.

Zaw Htun Lat mentioned that being the daughter of General Aung San, considered to be the “Father of the Nation” of Myanmar, could give Aung San Suu Kyi the advantage to strengthen the peace process among ethnic minorities and to effectively bring about greater national unity.

Benedict Nisperos, a Chevening scholar from the Philippines taking a master of Science in Local Economic Development, commented that the event are aimed at promoting intellectual awareness of what is going on in the region to not just the students in the university but those interested in the region.

Myanmar LSE discussion3“Southeast Asia has always been an interesting showcase for many social and economic issues that the world can learn from. Due to the varied demographics and context of the ASEAN member states, the region presents a rich source of case studies for academics, researches and even the general public,” he argued.

Lo Kung Yin Ian, a Regional and Urban Planning Studies postgraduate, commented: “As a Singaporean student interested in international relations, the movie and the discussion with our guest speakers from Myanmar gave me a fresh insight into what’s going on in Myanmar now, beyond what we are able to learn from the media.

“I hope that the event successfully sparked off many students’ interests in Southeast Asian affairs, especially among students who are not from the region,” he continued.

The LSESU ASEAN society is a student society based in the London School of Economics (LSE) which aims to establish greater awareness of the ASEAN region in the university and beyond.

The discussion was held at LSE’s Old Building with major support provided by the LSESU UN Society. Present in the event were twenty LSE students. Those interested to know more about the LSESU ASEAN Society can visit its Ffacebook page at “LSESU ASEAN Society”.

Abdul Malik Omar is a LSE postgraduate from Brunei, taking his Master of Science in Local Economic Development.

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