Stories written by Jan Servaes

Myanmar and ASEAN: Time is not on the Side of Democracy

For 10 days in November, the world's diplomatic attention will largely be focused on three major diplomatic meetings in Southeast Asia. These include the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit on November 15-16 in Bali, Indonesia, and the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, which will be held November 18-19 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Myanmar’s Crisis Since the Coup– in a Nutshell

The update on September 26, 2022, of the human rights situation in Myanmar to the UN Human Rights Council says it all: “The people of Myanmar have been caught in a rapid downward spiral, with growing suffering, fear, and insecurity. Urgent action is needed to reverse this catastrophic situation and to restore peace, democracy, and sustainable development”.

Africa is not a Country. It is a Continent.

“If all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of poverty and AIDS, unable to speak for themselves”. This quote from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is in the introduction to Dipo Faloyin's book 'Africa is not a country'. It summarizes Faloyin's book nicely.

Pariah Solidarity Between Myanmar & Russia

On August 3rd residents of the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw were suddenly awakened by the sound of military helicopters in the air. The helicopters hovered over the city all day. The way to the regime's foreign ministry was also blocked for hours.

The Myanmar Junta Continues to Wreak Death & Destruction

Myanmar has been embroiled in violence and civil unrest since the military ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February 2021. The initially widespread peaceful protests were crushed with deadly force by the military and police.

EU’s Exclusionary Migration Policies Place People on the Move toward Europe at Greater Risk

A mass attempt on June 24, 2022, of about 2000 African migrants to scale the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla left at least 37 people dead.

Death Sentences in Myanmar

"The illegal military junta provides further evidence to the international community of its disregard for human rights as it prepares to hang pro-democracy activists," said Thomas Andrews and Morris Tidball-Binz, UN special rapporteurs in Myanmar for human rights and extrajudicial arbitrary executions, respectively on June 10, 2022.

China’s Risky Strategic Game in Myanmar

Before the February 1 coup, China was among the top international partners of the now-in-opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). From 2015 to early 2020, when China closed its borders due to COVID-19, NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi made five trips to China and met the Chinese President Xi Jinping five times.

Trouble in the Land of Smiles?

Could the rise of the youth-led 'Ratsadon' movement lead to changes in Thai politics? Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha now faces an ongoing threat as the movement continues to mobilize many, especially young people, against the government. They have broken traditional taboos by opening new conversations about the monarchy and shaping public discourse to question many conservative views in Thai society.