Is Myanmar Now Ruled by Tyranny of the Majority?

2015 Global Thinker Wai Wai Nu and Fortify Rights executive director Matthew Smith warn that democracy will mean little unless Muslims get a seat at the political table.


In this week’s Global Thinkers podcast, Rohingya activist Wai Wai Nu and human rights researcher Matthew Smith share why they’re both optimistic about and wary of Myanmar’s new government. FP contributing editor Christian Caryl hosts.

About the participants:  

Wai Wai Nu is a 2015 Global Thinker and a Rohingya activist. Last year, she traveled to Washington and the U.N. to denounce how widespread religious discrimination in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar was fueling a flood of Rohingya refugees. A former political prisoner, she’s the founder and director of the Women Peace Network Arakan, which, among other things, conducts trainings aimed at building bonds between Muslim and Buddhist women. Follow her on Twitter: @waiwainu.

Matthew Smith is the executive director of Fortify Rights, a nonprofit that works to strengthen the human rights movement by providing technical support to activists and it also researches and documents rights abuses. This past April, he testified in front of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have been displaced after widespread attacks in Myanmar. Follow him on Twitter: @matthewfsmith.

Christian Caryl is a contributing editor at FP, a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute (which co-publishes Democracy Lab with FP), and the author of Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter: @ccaryl.

This podcast was recorded at FP’s annual Global Thinkers celebration in Washington, D.C.

Subscribe to the Global Thinkers podcast and other FP podcasts on iTunes here.

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