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 Events on 2021

Facebook Live – Myanmar (One Month) After The Coup: Domestic Politics, Regional Repercussions, Global Implications 

Monday, 1st March 2021 at 09.30-11.30 a.m.

As Myanmar’s military coup reaches its one-month mark, it is timely to take stock of what’s been happening in the predominantly Buddhist country of 55 million. By all accounts, the coup has been a setback for Myanmar’s road towards political liberalization and economic development. Under fluid and precarious circumstances, we will examine post-coup events and dynamics from the domestic politics context within Myanmar and regional repercussions in Southeast Asia as well as global implications in view of China, Russia, and the West. What is the status and road ahead for the Myanmar military (the Tatmadaw) and its commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing? Where does Aung San Suu Kyi, at 75, go from here? Where does the future lie for the ethnic minorities around the country and what about the persistent internal conflicts between the Tatmadaw and ethnic armies? These are some of the hard questions this public forum will try to address. Our speakers line-up represents a range of diverse views and experiences which I think will add up to a dynamic and stimulating conversation. 

Facebook Live – Thailand’s Economic Outlook 2021 and Beyond: Vaccine, Growth, Value Chains 

Thursday, 18th February 2021 at 09.30-11.30 a.m.

As the most recent Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, ISIS Thailand is pleased to return to action with a limited in-person public forum on vaccine dynamics, the Thai macro-economy and future growth model in view of pandemic effects and shifting/fluid global value chains. We are delighted to have Dr Daniel Kertesz, the head of the World Health Organisation in Thailand, kick off with his expert view and analysis of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccine situation broadly, with reference to Thailand and Southeast Asia. An independent and highly regarded economist, Dr Supavud Saicheua will delve into Thailand’s macroeconomic consequences from the pandemic. When will Thailand regain its growth footing and how to get there after a severe economic contraction last year? With publications on global value chains in top international scholarly journals, Dr Pavida Pananond will tease out the trends and prospects of trade, foreign direction investment and global production in the post-pandemic global economy with implications for Thailand and Southeast Asia. 

(February 26, 2021) Myanmar coup: Asean's new fault line 

Already geopolitically divided by China's regional assertiveness, Asean is now facing a new fault line from Myanmar's recent military coup. Just like its divergent views toward China, Asean's mixed preferences toward the Myanmar armed forces' abrupt seizure of power on Feb 1 threaten to further weaken Southeast Asia's 10-member grouping and marginalise its role as the central organising vehicle for regional peace and stability. 

(February 19, 2021) Myanmar coup poses many dilemmas 

Myanmar's military coup on Feb 1 and the popular anger and ongoing local protests in reaction to it inside the country pose multiple and multi-layered dilemmas for all parties involved. The Tatmadaw, as Myanmar's armed forces are known, led by junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, is now mired in repercussions and consequences well beyond its original intent. Whether the Tatmadaw prevails or not, Myanmar is unlikely to regain the traction of reform and progress that has been on track in the past decade. 

(February 12, 2021) Who's culpable for Myanmar's coup? 

When Myanmar's armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, staged a military coup on Feb 1, reactions inside the country and outside were noticeably different. As the coup effectively disenfranchised millions of voters who chose hitherto State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in a landslide victory on Nov 8, public anger inside the country was immediate and conspicuous just as Myanmar's newly elected parliament was about to convene. Many outside observers, however, were more guarded and hedged, portraying the cause of the coup as more qualified and nuanced. How the coup came about has become a bone of contention that will have much to say about the post-coup dynamics and outcomes. 

(March 2, 2021) Thailand's dilemma in Myanmar crisis 

Several subjects were on the table last Wednesday when Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. They discussed the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations as well as the preparations for the scheduled Asean Informal Ministerial Meeting and, of course, the situation in Myanmar. 

(February 23, 2021) Thai-Aussie ties are on cloud nine 

On Feb 15, a historic milestone was achieved when Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the Australian Embassy -- the first time in the annals of Thailand's external relations that a monarch had visited a foreign mission. Their Majesties were there to view a documentary prepared by the Australian Embassy commemorating the King's time in Australia. Indeed, Thai-Australian relations have come a long way. 

(February 16, 2021) The time is right for Thailand to join the CPTPP 

No more dillydallying. Thailand should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Otherwise, the "unpreparedness syndrome" will continue to reign in the "hearts and minds" of concerned policy and opinion-makers, further downgrading the country's potential and ability to join free trade arrangements (FTAs) in the future. The economic slowdown wrought by Covid-19 further demands the promotion of trade and investment as well as the country's competitiveness.