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CIC Victoria: Politics-in-the Pub: Decoding Myanmar: Legacy, Conflict, and the Road to Reform

May 21 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

When: Tuesday, 21 May
Where: The Sticky Wicket Pub, Maple Room, the Strathcona Hotel, 919 Douglas Street
Time: 5 – 7:00 pm (doors open at 5 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.

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.

Our thanks also to Dr. Ken MacKay, who has extensive experience in the region and Myanmar. Ken is kindly hosting our speakers and he will also be present at the Politics-in-the-Pub.

To attend this event please email Roger Love at

The event is open to CIC members only. The cost to attend is $22.50, which will cover a first drink and a round of appetizers. Attendance is limited so please don’t wait to register.

Confirmation of your registration along with payment instructions will be provided. If you are not able to attend after registering, and there is a waiting list, your registration fee will be reimbursed. If we have no waiting list, unfortunately refunds cannot be given.


May 21
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT