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Report Launch – Harmony Laws in Southeast Asia: Majority Dominance, Minority Repression

22 November 2021 @ 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM BMT


Governments in Southeast Asia often proclaim that they promote and protect racial and religious harmony through their domestic laws. On occasions they even insist that these laws are aligned with international standards. However, in reality, evidence from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and Committee on Racial Discrimination (CERD) suggests otherwise. When challenged, government representatives will claim that international human rights mechanisms or other states do not understand their countries’ exceptional circumstances and hence could not appreciate their progress thus far. However, these legal measures often police the freedom of religious and racial expression and discriminate against minorities. Asia Centre’s new baseline study Harmony Laws in Southeast Asia: Majority Dominance, Minority Repression examines the situation in Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore. All four countries are ethnically and religiously diverse nations with divisive, painful colonial legacies and have long grappled with ethnic and religious tensions accentuated by contemporary migration. The launch of Asia Centre’s new report and panel discussion is part of the 7th SEAFoRB International Conference.


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Welcome Remarks

  • Pavitra Ramanujam, Project coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  • Dr. Balazs Szanto, Senior Researcher, Asia Centre


  • Dr. James Gomez, Regional Director, Asia Centre


  • Lutfi Hakim, Asia Centre Associate and Columnist (Malaysia)
  • Khin Mai Aung, Advisory Board, Asia Centre (Myanmar)
  • Asst. Prof. John Phillip Binondo, Lecturer, De La Salle University Manila (Philippines)
  • Subhas Nair, Protest Rapper (Singapore)

Closing Remarks

  • Dr. Robin RamcharanExecutive Director, Asia Centre

Contact Details

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Tel: +66 2 129 3773

Email: contact@asiacentre.org

Website: http://asiacentre.org/

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22 November 2021
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM BMT
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