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ALT-ASEAN And Training Activists.

We discuss the ALT-ASEAN activism trials, triumphs, and trajectories. We learn the methods used in fighting oppression and human rights violations in the continent, and how we can keep that going in the Burma Crises.


Debbie Stothard is an active promoter of human rights in Burma and the Asean region. In 1996, she founded the Alternative Asean Network on Burma (Altsean Burma). During her 32 year career, she has worked as a journalist, community education consultant,governmental advisor and trainer in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand.

Adem Carroll is the Director of UN Programs. He leads the Burma Task Force Team at Justice For All. He is the founder and former Executive Director of Muslim Consultative Network, which works to promote inclusion, dialogue and community strengthening in New York City.

Debbie Strothard

Honed skills in activism through methods employed in criminal investigation and reporting. Harassment by authorities is common and expected in the line of activism. Debbie Strothard was deported and declared a threat to national security from Vietnam and banned from Burma. Having support, a passport, and ability to travel is a privilege in this type of activism.

You have to consider the safety of the grassroots activists when traveling for workshops. Getting information on what to say, and even what to wear, can aid in making sure the local activists are safe and able to continue their work.


There is a benefit to being unassuming because people do not expect an “auntie” to be a threat to national security :D

Government sponsored mobs have been hired to make sure a conference did not occur.Whenever there is detention or harassment, there is solidarity from the community in her work. The danger that traveling activists face is nothing compared to the everyday experience faced by the Rohingya SaveRohingya

Debbie first met a Burmese person in her late teens as a crime reporter.

If there was a flare up in the southern and eastern Asian countries, the collective Debbie worked with would contact students to run a campaign for them. They worked with Chinese Students in Tiananmen Square, Malaysian Singapore and Thailand human rights crackdowns, but they could not find students for the 8/8/80 uprising in Burma. SaveRohingya

They could only find migrants and exiles and that’s who they worked with. SaveRohingya

The women of the Burmese ethnic organizations in Bangkok were the daughters and wives of the officials. They made sure there was space for the women they found on the borders for Burmese rights.

Debbie’s organization found that they have to keep those in their internships accountable because they will be our bosses. Sometimes, the ones that take the most risks in activism are young women. We have invested in training young women to become leaders and pushing them so that they will later become bosses, colleagues, and board members that live by their values  in everyday life.

There has been no commitment to fundamental principles of inclusion in human rights and democracy amongst the international stakeholders and funders.We have seen behavior modification, but no addressing of impunity or military corruption in Burma.

Young people are taking a stand and making it clear what kind of future they want in Burma. They have been threatened, harassed, and charged with numerous charges that each carry one to two year sentences. Military funding has tripled since the shift to Controlled democracy. Follow the money and the economic impact. Money has hemorrhaged from Burma while investment in other Asian countries has increased. BoycottDivestSanction

Many people do not join the military to kill people, but they do so to make money and killing people is part of the process of making money We have to address this by making genocide unprofitable The biggest changes have come when sanctions have been threatened or placed. Consumer boycotts are important, but they need to be backed up by government sanctions and policies.

Targeting military owned companies is the most impactful way to place economic sanctions.In Malaysia it got so bad that Five UN reporters on the UN working group on arbitrary detention issued a call for Malaysia to stop persecuting asylum seekers and migrants under the guise of covid 19 control response.

Children and elderly were rounded up and pushed into detention centres to stop the covid spread into the broader population. The criminalized migrants and refugees are persecuted just as badly as the violence that the Rohingya faced in Burma. Even if you are not with the groups in fighting for the solution, at least do not side with the perpetrators of the genocides.

Adem Carroll

Many rising lawyers in Burma are women. Every situation is different, and the pandemic introduces different


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