As the nation celebrates its 100th year of filmmaking, documentary filmmakers say their genre is gaining ground while documentarians still face old challenges, from government censorship to limited funding.
On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Adam Bemma speaks to Thinzar Shunlei Yi, advocacy coordinator at Action Committee for Democracy Development, and Maung Saungkha, executive director of ATHAN, an organisation that has documented violations of fundamental freedoms in Myanmar over the last four years under the National League for Democracy government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. They discuss freedom of expression in Myanmar.
On this week’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Adam Bemma speaks to Myanmar’s trailblazing podcaster, Nandar. Last year, Nandar started the G-Taw Zagar Wyne podcast along with members of her Purple Feminists Group in Yangon to amplify women’s voices in the country. The name G-Taw Zagar Wyne comes from a nickname Nandar was given growing up in Shan State. It means a woman willing to speak up to share her ideas and begin a dialogue.
Asylum seekers and dissidents have fled Laos, Cambodia and other nations to Thailand to avoid political persecution. While they wait for UN refugee status, they are surveilled by authorities, disappeared from Bangkok streets and forcibly repatriated or jailed.
The remains of a land rights activist who went missing in 2014 has brought up the issue of torture and enforced disappearances in Thailand. But civil society groups fear little action is being taken on a bill that would recognise enforced disappearance as a criminal offence.
Adam Bemma speaks to a Thai democracy and human rights activist about his arrest under the country’s lese majeste law and Victoria Milko looks at the difficulties of reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Thai journalists have traditionally gravitated towards the capital of Bangkok in search of media work, leaving the media landscape short on regional and local coverage. But some independent outlets are now stepping into the breach to change that.
Thailand’s 1954 Military Service Act states that all Thai males are required to serve in the military at the age of 21, even though there are ways to get out of it. Some are now arguing that conscription should be cut down, reformed, or maybe even abolished.
The March 2019 election in Thailand means that the country will transition from the military junta to a civilian government. But activists say that this change isn’t going to be enough if oppressive charges filed by the regime against critics aren’t rolled back.
This week, Victoria Milko takes a look at how providers are bringing healthcare to the Naga Self-Administered Zone, Adam Bemma speaks to Hasan Al-Akraa, a refugee in Malaysia who uses social media to provide support to fellow asylum seekers, Mark Tilly talks to Hanna Guy of sustainable clothing label Dorsu Cambodia about conditions in the garment industry, and Kirsten Han argues that the lack of information about the death penalty in Singapore affects accountability and debate.