5th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable: COVID-19 and Vaccine Nationalism

Rich countries have placed orders, received consignments and have begun inoculating their citizens, however, the reality of needing to inoculate foreign residents in their midst makes vaccination nationalism irrelevant.This was the general view emerging from Asia Centre’s webinar on 20 January 2021 entitled “COVID-19 and Vaccine Nationalism”. Asia Centre, in partnership with the Thai Media Fund and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, convened its 5th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable in remembrance of the late professor’s work on nationalism. The event was attended by 64 online participants with 798 Facebook Live views during the session. The session brought together academics, activists and…

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Civil Society Empowerment must be at the Centre of COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

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On 9 December 2020, Asia Centre released its second baseline study “COVID-19 and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Building Resilience, Fighting Authoritarianism”. This report examines the state of democracy and human rights in the region, from 1 January 2020 to 30 November 2020, and the accelerated regression thereof due to COVID-19. The report was presented by Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director of Asia Centre. Following the unveiling,  key themes of the report were discussed by Dr. Rebecca (Bec) Strating, Executive Director, La Trobe Asia, La Trobe University; Dr. Kristina Kironska, Researcher, Palacky University of Olomouc; Celito Arlegue, Executive Director, Council of Asian…

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COVID-19 and Democracy in Southeast Asia

Download Full Report ABSTRACT COVID-19 and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Building Resilience, Fighting Authoritarianism examines trends under which Southeast Asian governments have used crises as opportunities for their political advantage. This report, centred around the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), highlights the routine response from governments with the announcement of emergency decrees and laws, suspension of civil freedoms, corruption of electoral democracy, censorship, digital surveillance measures, and framing human rights activists as national security threats. Post- crises, governments then enact long term laws and policies that effectively shrink civic space. Their methods also include limiting media and journalists’ watchdog activities through…

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Women Lead 2019-20 Journalism for an Equitable Asia Awards

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Women led at the Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award Ceremony on the 2nd of December 2020 at 2 PM - 3.30 PM (GMT+7, Bangkok).The female-dominated field of the top ten journalists were positively judged on their delivery of high-quality articles on the issues of poverty and inequality in Asia. Out of the twelve journalists, who wrote the top ten articles, eleven were women.Asia Centre and Oxfam in Asia convened an online award ceremony in place of a face-to-face event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic travel advisories. For this year’s nominations, there were 100 submissions, from 7 countries in the…

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Asia Centre’s Internship Programme

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From 2016 to 2020, Asia Centre’s Internship Programme has hosted 33 interns, with a 2:4 male to female ratio for a total of 133 months. The interns were either undergraduates or postgraduates enrolled at universities in Australia, East Africa, East Asia, Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Southern Africa and the USA.Intern’s applying to Asia Centre begin the process by filling in the online application form on the website and attaching copies of a CV, an official letter of university enrollment and photo page of passport or ID (for Thai applicants only). Following a review of the submitted documents, shortlisted applicants…

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3rd ASEAN-Japan Roundtable: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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On 18 November 2020, Asia Centre, in partnership with the Japan Foundation, convened the 3rd ASEAN-Japan Roundtable on the topic of “ASEAN-Japan relations: The Impact of the COVID-19  pandemic”, the video of which can be viewed here. Experts in ASEAN-Japan relations came together to discuss the impact of COVID-19 in Japanese society and Japan’s relationship with ASEAN countries in terms of economy, geopolitical developments and people-to-people relations.   Dr. Robin Ramcharan, Executive Director, Asia Centre, welcomed the speakers and participants in his opening remarks that recapped the content of the Centre’s 1st and 2nd ASEAN-Japan round tables held in 2017 and 2019.…

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Asia Centre Convenes “Infodemic” Discussion

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Asia Centre, in partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand (TECO) and the Thai Media Fund, convened a discussion on “Countering the COVID-19 Infodemic: Sharing Best Practices” on 4 November 2020. The session, which brought together speaks from Taiwan and Thailand, examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic creating an “Infodemic” which has challenged countries trying to tackle issues of disinformation, misinformation and too much information as there has been a surge of fake news related to COVID-19, placing vulnerable communities at risk to the public health arena and national security.Ambassador Lee, Ying-Yuan (Taiwan’s Representative to Thailand) introduced…

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5th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable: COVID-19 & Vaccine Nationalism

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Asia Centre will convene the 5th Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable entitled, ‘COVID-19 & Vaccine Nationalism’. The event, held in partnership with the Thai Media Fund, will take place next year on January 20, 2021 at 2 PM - 3.30 PM (Bangkok, Thailand, GMT+7).This event will review the implications of pre-purchase agreements being made between governments and vaccine manufacturers to secure and prioritise a country’s needs before others. In particular, it will examine how high demand for a COVID-19 vaccine, now commonly known as ‘vaccine nationalism’, will affect Asia.Since 2016, Asia Centre has convened 4 memorial roundtables to examine the work…

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5th International Conference (2020): Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions

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From 7 to 9 October 2020, Asia Centre convened its fifth International Conference on Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 travel and health advisories, this conference was convened as a hybrid event with participants joining in-person as well as teleconferencing from locations worldwide. The Law Faculty of Thammasat University was the location for the first day of the conference. Thereafter, starting that evening, panels were hosted in Asia Centre’s office and online.Into its 5th year, Asia Centre’s annual conference continued to grow from the previous year in spite of the pandemic. There were 18…

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Hate Speech in Southeast Asia

Download Full Report ABSTRACT Hate speech, often disseminated online, is increasingly a problem in Southeast Asia with consequences of violence and communal strife. As a result, several countries in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand have introduced or are revising bills aimed at securing social, racial or religious harmony. Non-legal measures to foster social cohesion, interfaith dialogues and social harmony activities have also been used to address hate speech and promote cross-communal understandings. A majority of states in Southeast Asia have also signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) to…

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