Past Events

Dreadful News: Mass Atrocity Crimes in Southeast Asia

Date: 25 November 2020, Wednesday
Time: 8.00pm – 10.00 pm
Venue: Webinar (Google Meet)

About the Talk:

There is an assumption that Southeast Asia is generally peaceful though there are sporadic outbursts of violence in certain countries. But the reality is this – Southeast Asia, before the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) was formed – has had a history of violent conflicts and today violence is still being used in the hope of bringing about change.

Conflicts arise out of a territoriality and notions of sovereignty. Most of the Southeast Asian countries have undergone much mass violence to gain independence from the colonialists. But since independence countries still experience decades of armed conflicts between the governments and groups that seek independence or better rights for the people, without any discrimination. Violence – past and present – means deep wounds, deaths, tortures, trauma, unforgiveness, which leads to deepening grievances and anger, giving rise to continued tensions.

This discussion is a sharing of past history of the mass violence in South East Asia. The discussion also highlights what are the current episodes of mass atrocities in the region and ways in which some level of amelioration is taking place.

About the Speaker:

Braema Mathi (Mathiaparanam) was a Global Fellow on a joint programme called Holocaust, Genocide and Atrocity Crimes, in a partnership between Keene State College in US and an international NGO, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. She shared within the institution and in the community the situation in Southeast Asia, and also learnt more on the conflicts in the world and the theories on atrocity crimes. Braema is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Penang Institute.

On a joint project between Penang Institute and CARE (Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation) in the Department of Communications at Massey University in New Zealand, Braema also evaluated what Indian youths in Penang face as challenges and find their pathways to self-improvement. Braema has worked as a teacher, a journalist, a researcher, director of programmes on gender, business and human rights and been involved working on many social justice issues, nationally, regionally and internationally.

About the Discussant:

Dr. Aizat Khairi obtained his PhD degree from Research and Education for Peace (REPUSM), School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He focuses on peace and conflict studies, refugees, ethnicity and international relations. Currently, he serves as the Head of Section, Student Development and Senior Lecturer at the General Study Department, UniKL MIMET, Lumut Campus, Perak.