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CIC Victoria: Myanmar Migrants in Thailand: Legacy, Conflict, and the Road Ahead

May 22 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PDT

When: Wednesday, 22 May
Where: The University of Victoria, Centre for Global Studies, Sedgewick Building Room C168 or online via Zoom
Time: 1 – 2:30 pm
Our Speakers: Dr. Sai Soe and Wae Win Khaing

In February 2021, the Myanmar Armed Forces launched a coup d’état that deposed the elected government, thereby inciting a countrywide conflict between the military and a range of resistance groups. However, the military has not been able to suppress the uprising, even though it has an advantage in arms. Indeed, it is fighting on numerous fronts, sustaining significant casualties and struggling to recruit new soldiers. Although Myanmar has experienced persistent clashes in ethnic-minority areas since the country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1948, the scale of the current conflict is unprecedented. The resulting humanitarian crisis has also led to displacement of people and humanitarian need on a scale greater than has been seen in the region since the Cold War.

In this talk, the speakers will discuss the origins of the 2021 coup, the current political and military situation and Myanmar’s “civil disobedience movement”, the latter based on their personal experiences. In addition, and in light of the humanitarian crisis that has become worse since 2021, the current human rights situation and the plight of internally displaced people will also be a topic of focus.

To register for zoom, click here.

This event is sponsored by the Centre for Global Studies, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives and the Canadian International Council.

There is no cost to attend.

Our speakers

Dr. Sai Kyi Zin Soe is a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. Currently, he serves as a Senior Consultant at the Foundation for Education and Development, dedicated to assisting Myanmar migrants in Thailand. Additionally, he provides support to the Karenni State (a state of Myanmar) Interim Parliament in the capacity of a Technical Advisor. Dr. Soe earned his PhD from the University of Sydney, completing his thesis in 2019. His areas of expertise encompass disability and social inclusion, human rights and minority rights, local governance, and federalism. Since the 2021 military coup in Myanmar he has actively contributed political analysis and commentary to many media platforms, advocating for human rights, inclusion, and federalism.

Wae Win Khaing is a PhD Candidate in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Manitoba. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Library and Information Studies from East Yangon University in 2007 and pursued her Master of Educational Management and Leadership at the University of Sydney through the Australia Awards Scholarship in 2015. Her primary interests involve social and gender research and social justice. Her current doctoral ethnographic research focuses on understanding the relationship between historical changes in Myanmar and Thailand and Myanmar migration since 1980.


May 22
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PDT


CIC Victoria Branch