Asia Centre’s Engagement with Diplomatic Missions

Asia Centre has built good relations with Bangkok-based diplomatic missions by attending embassy functions, meeting with embassy officials and hosting discussions with ambassadors. These embassy engagements are part of the Centre’s efforts to seek connections to overseas partners and broaden its global network. The bulk of engagements with diplomatic missions usually occur when Asia Centre’s representatives attend independence or national day celebrations organised by the embassies. In 2019, Asia Centre received an increased number of invites to embassy functions.  On 10 Oct 2019, Dr. James Gomez and Johnny Hoang Nguyen attended the 108th National Day of the Republic of China…

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Asia Centre’s Rohingya Refugee ASEAN Advocacy

 Since 2017, Asia Centre has been actively advocating for solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis. Drs. James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan, as Asia Centre’s resource speakers have spoken at numerous international conferences particularly in 2018. While Dr. Gomez has been the lead Asia Centre spokesperson in responding to the media on developments that emerge related to the Rohingya refugee crisis. To take stock of the situation, one year after the 2017 mass exodus of Rohingya fleeing violence and persecution by the Myanmar Government and military, the Asia Centre convened a one day conference titled “The Rohingya Crisis: A Multidimensional Tragedy”, on…

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Japan-ASEAN relations need non-economic approach

Japan needs to recalibrate and reevaluate its engagement with Southeast Asia (SEA) in view of China’s ascendency and the United States’ (US) uncertain engagement with the region. As Japan navigates competition from China and other rising powers, the influence of its economy will diminish. The question therefore, is how should Japan frame its foreign policy towards Southeast Asia in this new context. Policy experience, soft power project, people-to-people dimension or values based diplomacy on principles of democracy and human rights are non-economic dimensions that are likely to feature more as its foreign tools.  The debate over a non-economic approach emerged…

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Asia Centre’s MOUs extend reach

On 27 September 2019, Asia Centre signed an MOU with the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University. Dean, Faculty of Law, Munin Pongsapan and Asia Centre’s Executive Director Dr. Robin Ramcharan inked the agreement to cement their co-convening of Asia Centre’s 5th International conference on Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions 8-10 July 2020. The MOU signing, witnessed by Asia Centre’s advisor Dr. Andrew Harding, builds on the Centre’s working relationship with the Faculty of Law since the last 2 years. For instance, on 30 October 2017, the Centre hosted the Faculty of Law’s students and Professor Thitirat Thipsamritkul at…

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Asia Centre’s 2019 Taiwan Engagement

In 2019 Asia Centre undertook and has planned a series of meetings and interactions both in Bangkok, Thailand and Taipei, Taiwan to strengthen its relationship with Taiwanese institutions. The 2019 meetings built on Asia Centre’s initial December 2018 collaborative visit to Taipei, Taiwan.On 5-7 December 2019, Dr. James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan will attend the SEASIA Biennial Conference 2019 and present a paper on “The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR): Normative and Institutional Pathways towards an Enhanced Protection Role”. Thereafter Dr. Gomez will continue his stay in Taipei to deliver public lectures at National Chengchi University and the…

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Asia Centre’s Expert Opinions in the Media

Asia Centre is often approached by different media outlets such as television news channels, radio stations and online news portals to either comment on current political issues or submit op-eds on human rights issues for publication. As Regional Director, Dr James Gomez is Asia Centre’s main spokesperson and takes the lead in speaking to the media, from time-to-time the Centre’s other representatives also speak to the media on their areas of expertise.Asia Centre media engagement has dealt with issues related to security concerns on the South China Sea, the Rohingya refugee crisis and political developments in Thailand and Singapore. In…

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Asia Centre co-hosts ASEAN Leadership Forum

Asia Centre co-hosted The ASEAN Community Leadership & Partnership Forum on 23th till 24th of June 2019 at Park Hyatt Bangkok. The event was held in conjunction with the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok and was convened by Kingsley Strategic Institute together with other co-hosts Nation Building Institute, Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, the ASEAN Studies Centre and the Asia Centre. As co-host Asia Centre was responsible for inviting 50 participants from civil society, NGOs and academia which broadened the nature of interventions and networking opportunities during the event. Among those who attended included international organisation representatives from Amnesty…

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International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia (10-12 July 2019)

Asia Centre convened its 4th International Conference on Fake News and Elections in Asia which started from the evening of 10 July and went on for another 2 full days on 11 and 12 July 2019. It was the Centre’s largest to date with 12 partners, 13 panels (See Programme), 46 presentations and a total of over 80 participants who discussed various issues related to fake news. Watch conference video here. Asia Centre’s 12 partners were the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, The Thai Media Fund, School of Media, Languages and Cultures, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, NSHM Knowledge Campus-Kolkata,…

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Asia Centre Strengthens South Korean Engagement

To strengthen relationships with South Korean academia, civil society and other supporting institutions and as part of Asia Centre’s efforts to engage with the Korean government’s Southern policy, in 2019 from 2-9 June, Dr. James Gomez visited Seoul, South Korea to attend two conferences and several partnership meetings. From June 3th to 5th Dr. Gomez was a discussant at the conference entitled Democracy, National Identity and Foreign Policy dialogue on 3th of June, where he was part of a panel that reviewed developments in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. From 4th to 5th June Dr. Gomez participated in a second conference…

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Disinformation Accelerates Human Rights Abuses in Conflict Situations

Disinformation contributes to an acceleration of human rights abuses in situations. Discussing the case of Rwanda, former US Ambassador to Rwanda, Margaret McMillion argued that lack of trust in transparent information contributed to genocide in that country in 1994. During the crisis many journalists were exiled in order to maintain the government narrative about the situation in Rwanda. The former US Ambassador to Rwanda made these remarks during her keynote address at  Asia Centre’s 4th Anniversary on the 19 June 2019. In a 45 minute address, she outlined human rights abuses during the Rwanda genocide and the reconsiliation process that…

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