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Myanmar Scholars Oppose the Military Takeover
The letter below was sent to offices of the Myanmar military, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Myanmar embassies across the world, on 12 February 2021.


We, the undersigned scholars and experts working on Myanmar in different fields, are firmly opposed to the state of emergency declared on 1 February 2021, and the transfer of legislative and executive power to the commander-in-chief of the Tatmadaw.

We also recognise the very limited nature of the transition to civilian rule after 2010, and the political, social and economic reforms pursued during this period. For many people, especially those living in ethnic-minority regions, life has barely changed, or even worsened, as armed conflict has intensified and predatory, authoritarian elites continued to exercise power. The violent ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population of Rakhine state is but the worst example of this brutal treatment of minority groups. Violent forced displacement continued to affect tens of thousands of people, mostly from ethnic-minority groups, especially in Kachin and Shan states. Millions of people in these areas were unable to participate in the elections of November 2020, and indeed November 2015.

Nonetheless, the military's direct resumption of control can only make things worse. It threatens the modest steps made towards greater governmental accountability and popular participation. It endangers fragile ceasefires in Myanmar's borderlands. It creates fear, uncertainty and chaos in the middle of a major pandemic and economic downturn, when the population is already suffering from serious deprivation. It incites foreign governments to take punitive measures that may undermine tentative poverty alleviation efforts. And it risks the emergence of widespread social unrest, possibly culminating in violence and bloodsheed. All of this flies in the face of the Tatmadaw's own stated goals of maintaining Myanmar's peace, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty. Rank-and-file Tatmadaw personnel should reflect carefully on the entirely counterproductive steps taken by their leaders.

We also condemn the arrest on 6 February 2021 of our colleague Dr Sean Turnell, an academic expert on Myanmar's economy and advisor to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Reflecting his love of Myanmar, Dr Turnell had put his academic career at Australia's Macquarie University on hold, to help reform the country's economy and improve the people's livelihoods.

We call for:
1. The immediate release of all individuals incarcerated by the Tatmadaw on or since 1 February 2021.
2. Immediate and unconditional dialogue between the Tatmadaw and the people's elected representatives in order to resolve the political crisis that emerged after the November 2020 elections and swiftly agree time-limited steps to restore democratic government.
3. All military and police personnel to exercise the utmost restraint in their approach to the nascent Civil Disobedience Movement; in particular, to reject the use of force against peaceful protestors.

Signatories (will be added periodically, not automatically, with spam/ abuse removed):

1. Dr Lee Jones, Reader in International Politics, Queen Mary University of London
2. Dr Adam Simpson, Senior Lecturer, University of South Australia
3. Dr Soeren Keil, Reader in Politics and International Relations, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
4. Dr. Gerard McCarthy, Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
5. Jana-Chin Rué Glutting, Research Associate, CESD
6. Professor Susan Harris Rimmer, Griffith University
7. Ms Kyungmee Kim, PhD Candidate in Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University
8. Prof. Dr. Marco Bünte, Professor in Political Science, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
9. Anthea Snowsill, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the Australian National University
10. Janelle Saffin, Fellow & Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University
11. Dr U Abhaya (retired University lecturer)
12. Dr Liv Gaborit, Postdoc, Lund University, Sweden
13. Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, NUS
14. Professor Thomas Pepinsky, Tisch University Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University
15. Ratu Ayu Asih Kusuma Putri, Lecturer in International Relations, Bina Nusantara University
16. Mr Aye Min Soe, Freelance Journalist
17. Dr. Kristian Stokke, Professor in Human Geography, University of Oslo
18. Associate Professor Economics Wylie Bradford, Macquarie University.
19. Dr Lee Morgenbesser, Senior Lecturer, Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University
20. Dr. Chosein Yamahata, Professor, Graduate School of Policy Studies, Aichi Gakuin University, Japan
21. Yatana Yamahata, recent MSc Comparative Politics Graduate, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
22. Debby Chan, Visiting Fellow, City University of Hong Kong
23. Richard Roewer, PhD Candidate, University of Oxford and German Institute for Global and Area Studies
24. Prof Gustaaf Houtman, Royal Anthropological Institute, London
25. Dr Charlie Thame, Assistant Professor in International Relations, Thammasat University, Thailand
26. Dr Amy Doffegnies, Independent researcher, Oxford
27. Dr Kristina Kironska, Senior Researcher, Palacky University Olomouc
28. Prof Paul Staniland, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
29. Dr David Brenner, Lecturer, University of Sussex
30. Dr. Annika Pohl Harrisson, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University
31. Dr Peter Stoett, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ontario Tech University, Canada
32. Prof Dan Slater, Director, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, University of Michigan
33. Prof Justin Watkins, Professor of Burmese and Linguistics, SOAS University of London
34. Darin Self, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Cornell University
35. Prof Mia Sasaki, Professor at AU, MSc UPenn
36. Dr Robert Farnan, Research Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York
37. Dr Van Tran, Myanmar researcher
38. Dr Nicole Loring, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rivier University
39. Dr Moon Suk Hong, Assistant Professor, Busan University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
40. Dr Kristina Simion, Visiting Fellow, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
41. Ellie Morinville, Architecture Student, Ball State University USA
42. Dr Ma Khin Mar Mar Kyi, Senior Research Fellow and Convener of International Gender Studies, University of Oxford
43. Jean-François Rancourt, PhD candidate in political science and researcher at Center for Asian Studies, University of Montréal
44. Dr Andrew Jefferson, Senior Researcher, DIGNITY
45. Nicole Tu-Maung, Independent Researcher, recent MSc graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
46. Sam Baron, MPhil Candidate in Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
47. Alex Moodie, PhD Candidate, Durham University
48. Dr Hans Steinmüller, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics
49. Dr Kevin Woods, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Hawai’i
50. Dr Nicola Tannenbaum, Emerita Professor of Anthropology, Lehigh University
51. Greg Tyrosvoutis, EdD candidate, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, University of Toronto
52. Hon Prof Dr Nicole Haeusler, University of Sustainable Development, Germany
53. Dr Alexander Horstmann, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Tallinn University
54. Dr Fernando Pedrosa, Director del Grupo de Estudios sobre Asia y América Latina, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina  
55. Dr Camilla Buzzi, Associate Professor- social work, Østfold University College, Norway.
56. Lic. Max Povše, PhD. candidate in Social Sciences, Lecturer on Asian Politics, University of Buenos Aires; Researcher on Myanmar in GESAAL - FSOC - UBA
57. Matthew Venker, PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
58. Urszula A. Strugala, Cultural Heritage Conservator, Italy
59. Anna Tan, MSc Global Affairs Postgraduate, Department of War Studies, King’s College London
60. Dr Emma Palmer, Lecturer in International Law, Griffith Law School
61. Herve Lemahieu, Director, Power and Diplomacy Program, Lowy Institute
62. Aung Thang Shane, Masters Student, KU Leuven, Belgium
63. Professor Nicholas Farrelly, Head of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia
64. Dr Lorenzo Chiarofonte, Ethnomusicologist, SOAS University of London
65. Mr Hamid Yahyaei, Lecturer in Finance, Macquarie University
66. Dr Rosalie Metro, Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA
67. Dr Sally Bamford
68. Dr Avinash Paliwal, Associate Professor in International Relations, SOAS University of London
69. Megan Ryan, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
70. Lic. Alejandro H. Lamarque, Researcher, GESAAL, FSOC, University of Buenos Aires
71. Lic. Mariano Statello, Researcher, GESAAL, FSOC, University of Buenos Aires
72. Nuria Lopez Vazquez, PhD candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Edinburgh
73. Professor Michele Ford, Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, University of Sydney
74. Prof James Goodman, Professor of Political Science, University of Technology Sydney
75. Associate Professor Stuart Rosewarne, Political Economy, University of Sydney
76. Sinmyung Park, Former Political Researcher at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Myanmar; currently PhD student, Arizona State University
77. Ms Ngu Wah Hlaing, Masters student, New Zealand
78. Dr Ben Marwick, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington
79. Kyan Htoo, PhD candidate in Agribusiness, Massey University, New Zealand
80. Dr Katrina Chludzinski, Independent Historian
81. Elliott Bynum, PhD Candidate, American University
82. Prof Devleena Ghosh, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
83. Ms Tin May Yu Aung, Lecturer,  Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar
84. Michael McAneney, History, Francis Marion University
85. Dr Michael Fullilove, Executive Director, Lowy Institute, Sydney, Australia
86. Prof Melissa Crouch, University of New South Wales
87. Erin McAuliffe, PhD Candidate University of Michigan
88. Hla Hla Win, Director, Women Development Society
89. Prof Mattias Fibiger, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
90. Min Khant Zaw, Postgraduate Researcher, Georgia Institute of Technology
91. Phyu Pannu Khin, PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology, University of Vermont
92. Dr Juliane Schober, Professor of Religious Studies, Arizona State University
93. Dr Alistair D B Cook, Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
94. Dr Andrew Johnson, Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley
95. Hunter Marston, PhD candidate, Australian National University
96. Dr Melissa Johnston, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Monash University
97. Dr John MacRobert, Managing Director, Mukushi Seeds, Zimbabwe
98. Dr Roger Huang, Lecturer, Macquarie University
99. Ms Khine Zar Chi Wint, Researcher, Mahidol University, Thailand
100. Ms Khin Su Su Htwe, PhD candidate, Mahidol University, Thailand
101. Dr Jayde Roberts, Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney, Australia
102. Dr Liao Kuei-Hsien, Graduate Insititute of Urban Planning, National Taipei University
103. Dr Jeff Hou, Professor, University of Washington
104. Chong Ja Ian, Associate Professor of Political Science, National University of Singapore
105. Dr Nancy Eberhardt, Professor of Anthropology, Knox College, USA
106. Dr. Makiko Takeda, Assistant Professor in Policy Studies, Aichi Gakuin University, Japan
107. Dr Shin Moe Aoke, PhD student, Chulalongkorn University
108. Caitlin Reiger, Independent Analyst
109. Luke Corbin, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
110. Yin Moe Hlaing, PhD Candidate in Biomedical Science, Thammasat University, Thailand
111. Dr Berenice Guyot-Rechard, Senior Lecturer in International History, King’s College London
112. Dr Joakim Kreutz, Associate Professor in Political Science, Uppsala University, Sweden
113. Dr Marte Nilsen, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo
114. Research Professor Stein Tønnesson, Peace Research Institute Oslo
115. Associate Professor Christina Ho, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
116. Andy Buschmann, PhD Student, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
117. Dr Eva Hansson, Researcher and Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Stockholm University
118. Dr. Yongwook Ryu, Assistant Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
119. Dr Chika Watanabe, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
120. Dr Evelyn Pauls, LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London School of Economics and Political Science
121. Dr Patrick Meehan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SOAS University of London
122. Dr Khine Nyein Myint, Research fellow in NUS
123. Prof Ezequiel Ramoneda, Coordinador, Center for Southeast Asían Studies, and Secretary of the Department of Asia and the Pacífic of the Institute of International Relations of the National University of La Plata, Argentina
124. Prof Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, Professor and Chair, Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell
125. Dr Yamin Htet, Senior Scientist, Waters Corporation
126. Mikael Gravers, Associate Professor Emeritus, Aarhus University, Denmark
127. Dr Tomas Cole,  lecturer in Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.
128. Yie Mon Aein, Masters Student in Anthropology, University of Yangon
129. Dr John Buchanan, Fellow, Tallinn University
130. Herbary Zhang, Chercheurs Associés, Institut de Recherche sur l'Asie du Sud-Est Contemporaine
131. Lorraine Yang, Teaching Assistant, School of Fine Arts, Cultural Studies and History of Art, University of Leeds
132. Georg Bauer, University Assistant, History of Human Rights and Democracy, University of Vienna
133. Dr Amy Chak, Lecturer, Education University of Hong Kong
134. Choi Jae Hee, PhD candidate in Oriental Studies, University of Yangon
135. Susan Banki, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
136. Prof Daniel Tan, Professor of Agronomy, University of Sydney
137. Dr Natali Pearson, Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, University of Sydney
138. Prof Bill Pritchard, Professor of Geography, University of Sydney
139. Dr Bo Kyeong Seo, Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University
140. Dr Louis J. Taborda, Lecturer in Project Management, University of Sydney
141. Dr Andres Rodriguez, Lecturer University of Sydney
142. Dr C.J. Fujimura, Researcher
143. Dr Mark Stanford, Research Affiliate, University of Oxford
144. Sirada Khemanitthathai, PhD candidate, SOAS University of London
145. Dr. Hein Khaing, Post Doctoral Fellow, Xiamen University
146. Francis Wade, Independent Journalist & Researcher
147. Dr Thida Myint, Professor, YUFL
148. Rita Padawangi, Associate Professor, Centre for University Core, Singapore University of Social Sciences
149. Dominique Dillabough-Lefebvre, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics
150. Tessa Maria Guazon, Assistant Professor, Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman
151. Rosangela Malachias, Adjunct Professor, Rio de Janeiro State University College of Education
152. Kaja Berg Hjukse, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo
153. Roselle Pineda, PhD Candidate in Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
154. Dr Eyal Mayroz, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
155. Maureen MacGinley, Lecturer in Social Work, University of New South Wales, Australia
156. Dr Wendy Lambourne, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
157. Dr Zoe Bedford, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
158. Dr Juliet Bennett, Sessional Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
159. Ben Bland, Director of the Southeast Asia Program, Lowy Institute
160. Prof. Anthony Zwi Global Health and Development, UNSW
161. Michael Dunford, PhD candidate in Anthropology, the Australian National University
162. Robbie Peters, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Sydney
163. Stuart Rees, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney
164. Dr Linda Bartolomei, Co-convenor Forced Migration Research Network, UNSW
165. Dr. Lee Kah-Wee, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore
166. Fredyl Hernandez, Instructor, Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman; Senior Artist-Teacher, Philippine Educational Theater Association
167. Dr Mads Barbesgaard, Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Geography, Lund University
168. Dr Isabella Ng, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Policy Studies, Education University of Hong Kong
169. Dr Cammi Webb-Gannon, Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy, University of Wollongong
170. Dr Bridget Welsh, Honorary Research Associate, University of Nottingham Malaysia
171. Sofie Mortensen, PhD candidate, University of Copenhagen
172. Dr Alessandro Rippa, Project Director, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
173. Dinith Adikari, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
174. Pernilla Nordqvist, PhD candidate, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
175. Johanna Neumann, Lecturer in Myanmar Language and PhD Candidate, Humboldt University Berlin
176. Dr Ayako Yamamoto, Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
177. Sara Tödt, PhD Candidate, RMIT University, Melbourne
178. Carolin Hirsch, PhD candidate in Social and Political Anthropology, University of Konstanz, Germany
179. Dr Mala Htun, Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico, USA

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