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‘Overrun,’ ‘Outbred,’ ‘Replaced’: Why Ethnic Majorities Lash Out Over False Fears - The New York Times
That dynamic, sometimes known as a majority with a minority complex, is thought to be a major factor in the rise of right-wing populism in Europe, religious nationalism in Asia, and white nationalist terrorism in the United States and New Zealand.

When communal tensions broke out into the outright fighting known as the Troubles in the late 1960s, Northern Ireland’s Protestants were numerically, politically and economically dominant. But they were a minority on the island as a whole, feeding a sense of demographic peril.

Fears of existential, sectarian conflict can be self-realizing.

“more negative attitudes toward Latinos, blacks, and Asian-Americans” and “more automatic pro-white/anti-minority bias.”
rightwing  race  population  birth  usa  europe  banyan  crisis  genocide 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
A Stranger at the Family Table | The New Yorker

fundamentally, we are a traditional Chinese family, and this is no more clearly seen than in the way we interact with one another, in the things we reveal about ourselves. We do not admit weakness or sadness. Romantic heartbreak, depression, existential doubts—those are topics of conversation that belong to different cultures and younger generations, educated people who know about Freud and psychotherapy and organic vegetables. Vulnerability is shameful, even taboo; and in the spectrum of human shortcomings, poverty is the greatest frailty. All that is broken must remain in the past.

With my cousins in rural Perak and Kelantan, I spoke a pidgin of Malay, Mandarin, English, and Cantonese. I became quite skilled quite young at modulating my speech to suit whomever I was speaking to. I knew what proportion of Malay or Mandarin or colloquial English to use, and in what situation, knew when to swear in Cantonese, knew when to be correct, when to be urban-cool, when to be country-direct.
banyan  family  story  children  hardship  immigrant  mentality  grandparent  parents  malaysia 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter Thursday, October 12, 2017
Rapid modernization means more than rising incomes. It means rural-to-urban migration, population density and shifting social hierarchies. This changes how society and politics work. Of course, most countries manage to modernize without committing atrocities. But in countries already predisposed to sectarian conflict, modernization can trigger terrible violence.

Economic change disrupts how people organize themselves socially and therefore relate to one another. Identity becomes more salient as people search for new ways to root themselves. This means that contradictions or faultlines in identity — for example, between Myanmar’s ethnic majority and the minority Rohingya, long seen as outsiders — become more salient as well.

As we wrote earlier in the week, this is not to say that the people of Myanmar are inherently predisposed to sectarian conflict or were unready for modernization. Rather, these developments reflect the weakness of institutions, as well as political and social norms, that are meant to safeguard societies through turbulence. When they are not up to that task, as in Myanmar, the consequences can be severe.
modernization  society  ethnic  economy  banyan  crisis  2017 
october 2017 by aries1988
Pour les Birmans, Aung San Suu Kyi reste l’ultime garantie du succès de la démocratisation

" Elle aurait dû dire bien plus que ce qu'elle a dit. Parfois, elle dit des choses qui sont ni plus ni moins de la désinformation ", regrette Maung Saung Kha.
october 2017 by aries1988
What Happened to Myanmar’s Human-Rights Icon? | The New Yorker
Havel and Suu Kyi were among the many dissidents around the world who, from the mid-eighties to the early nineties, emerged as icons of freedom, often toppling the regimes that had oppressed them. In South Africa, after nearly thirty years in prison, Nelson Mandela negotiated an end to apartheid and then assumed his country’s Presidency. In Warsaw, a shipyard worker named Lech Walesa and a movement called Solidarity swept the Communist government from power. In the Philippines, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos fell after Corazon Aquino, the widow of an assassinated critic of the regime, took up her husband’s struggle. Democratic movements did not always triumph—the Chinese government’s massacre of student protesters near Tiananmen Square is the grimmest example—but, in the last three decades of the century, the number of democracies in the world increased from thirty-one to eighty-one.

Myanmar is a patchwork of a hundred and thirty-five officially recognized ethnicities, dominated by the Bamar, from the country’s heartland, who make up sixty-eight per cent of the population and most of the ruling élite. Armed conflicts have simmered for decades between numerous ethnic groups and Bamar-led governments. In 1947, Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, a Bamar general now regarded as the founder of the modern nation, persuaded several groups to put aside their differences in the interest of ending colonial British rule. But he was assassinated shortly before independence, which went into effect in January, 1948, and tribal conflicts soon consumed the young nation.

In 1999, Suu Kyi was faced with an agonizing decision. Her husband had received a diagnosis of terminal cancer and asked the regime to let him visit her. Repeated requests were denied, but the generals offered to release Suu Kyi, so that she could visit him, in Oxford. She and Aris knew that, if she left the country, she would never be allowed back. She chose to stay in Myanmar and never saw him again.

The euphoria that surrounded her ascent obscured how extensive the military’s power remains. The Army controls the ministries for defense, home affairs, and border affairs, and a quarter of the seats in parliament are reserved for men in uniform. Even ministries that are in civilian hands, such as finance, are full of holdovers from the previous regime, and much of the country’s budget is reserved for military use.

The armed forces of today have their origin in the Burmese Independence Army, which her father founded, in 1941, in order to rid the country of the British. In her Shwedagon Pagoda speech, Suu Kyi reminded her listeners of this history. “Let me speak frankly,” she said. “I feel strong attachment for the armed forces. Not only were they built up by my father—as a child I was cared for by his soldiers.” She retains many of the military’s values, frequently stressing the importance of discipline and unity.

For her entire life, Suu Kyi has been faithful to the memory of a father she never knew and to a country that she’d seen little of between the ages of fifteen and sixty-five. The intransigence and the certitude that may now cause her to be remembered as an enemy of freedom are the same qualities that served her well in captivity. In the years alone in her house, her distance from active politics made her a perfect vessel for the hopes of her countrymen and for the idealistic projections of the wider world.
reportage  history  democracy  2017  banyan 
september 2017 by aries1988
Myanmar Follows Global Pattern in How Ethnic Cleansing Begins - The New York Times
National self-determination, the idea that a nation should have the right to freely choose its political status, is a central tenet of the international system. It is enshrined in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which states that its purpose is “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Self-determination means not only defining what a nation is, but also who belongs in that nation and who is an outsider. And during times of political upheaval, when national identity comes under pressure and different groups compete for claims to self-determination, such definitions can provide an impetus for mass violence and even genocide against those deemed to be outsiders.

It is easy enough to define a “state” — a place with borders, territory and a sovereign government. But a “nation” is a hazier concept — a group of people bound together by some common characteristic, which may or may not match up precisely with state borders. That is where things get tricky.

Stefan Wolff, a political scientist at the University of Birmingham in England who studies ethnic conflict, has found that many of the world’s worst conflicts have arisen when ethnic and political borders do not line up with one another. “From Kosovo to Silesia,” he wrote in a 2004 article, “the competing claims of distinct ethnic groups to self-determination have been the most prominent sources of conflicts within and across state boundaries.”
2017  nation  state  banyan 
september 2017 by aries1988
Southeast Asia enters the danger zone
what is good about Southeast Asia — including kindness to strangers, humour, inclusiveness and flexibility — but rather that he sees these very qualities being eclipsed by a mixture of old-fashioned tyranny and baneful new influences from abroad.

inequality — and the selfishness of the business-political elites that have benefited disproportionately from economic growth both before and after Asia’s financial crisis.

America, in Brexit Britain and in oligarchical Hong Kong, so the 40 per cent of Indonesians clustered around a poverty

the 40 per cent of Indonesians clustered around a poverty earnings line of $2 a day are easy prey for demagogues. It is true that prosperity has also swollen the ranks of Asia’s middle class, but this aspiring and increasingly educated bourgeoisie is governed by the same set of authoritarian leaders and their coterie of tycoons. “This is not a sustainable paradox,” the author writes. It sounds like a recipe for revolution.

As for religion, the increasing influence of extremist Sunni interpretations of Islam over the past 30 years is startlingly visible in the dress codes and religiosity of the Muslims who make up 40 per cent of the region’s population
asia  banyan  geopolitics  today  book  opinion  economy  politics  religion  numbers  crisis  inequality 
july 2017 by aries1988
Asie du Sud Est : la diplomatie du bambou
Rivalités en Asie du Sud Est et en mer de Chine : concentration de puissances nucléaires, résistances aux pressions extérieures - notamment celles des grandes puissances, prospérité de Singapour, essor du Vietnam, autonomie et coopérations diverses, anniversaire de l'ASEAN... Quels enjeu[...]
diplomacy  podcast  numbers  china  asia  banyan 
may 2017 by aries1988
corporation  banyan 
january 2016 by aries1988
Sur les routes de l'Asie | L'histoire de Singapour
Cap sur la cité-état de Singapour, petite île située à la pointe de la péninsule Malaise, tant admirée et convoitée dans le monde grâce à son formidable succès économique et sa croissance fulgurante. Depuis son indépendance en 1965, il y a exactement 50 ans, cette petite nation a su se hisser dans le groupe très restreint des pays les plus riches de la planète. En compagnie d'Ariane Nabarro, guide française à Singapour y vivant depuis 18 ans, nous retraçons les grandes lignes de l'histoire fascinante du "red dot", depuis sa fondation en tant que colonie britannique par Sir Stamford Raffles en 1819, jusqu'à nos jours en 2015, qui a vu la célébration des 50 ans de l'indépendance mais aussi la disparition de son père fondateur, Lee Kuan Yew.
singapore  banyan 
december 2015 by aries1988
Playing with fire
A floundering government risks igniting ethnic tensions
malaysia  2015  race  conflict  chinese  banyan 
november 2015 by aries1988
The Costs of Malay Supremacy
The root cause of Malaysia’s current troubles is ketuanan Melayu: the ideology of Malay supremacy espoused by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the party that has dominated the country’s politics for more than six decades.
history  banyan 
september 2015 by aries1988
Pressing on | The Economist
A spate of accidents will not put Asians off air travel.

The region is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. Its 50-odd carriers are awaiting delivery of 1,600 new planes, about the same number as are in their fleets today. Boeing, an American planemaker, thinks regional airlines will need to order more than 3,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

In much of the region rutted roads and fickle seas are a far bigger worry. A recent study of 160 ferry accidents since 2000, costing nearly 17,000 lives, showed that Indonesia and the Philippines were among the most lethal places to board a boat (only Bangladeshi vessels were more deadly). Images of grieving families in Singapore and Surabaya have horrified Indonesians, and the world. But journeys are still safer in the skies.
accident  aviation  banyan 
may 2015 by aries1988
Rohingya Refugees From Myanmar Have Been Persecuted for Decades
The voting rights of the Muslim ethnic minority were effectively revoked in February, and President Thein Sein of Myanmar denies the existence of the ethnicity.
video  news  banyan 
may 2015 by aries1988
The wise man of the East
But four peculiarities of Singapore make it look like an anomaly. First is its size. It is a city with a foreign policy, which means it has a cohesion that vast, diverse countries cannot match. Second, this cohesion is reinforced by the turbulent circumstances of its birth. After a painful divorce from Malaysia in 1965, the government has never let Singaporeans forget that a Chinese-majority island, surrounded by Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia, would always be vulnerable. Geography is third. Singapore has flourished in part because of the failings of the rest of its region. Rather as Hong Kong’s prosperity was based on being Chinese but not entirely part of China, so Singapore is in South-East Asia, but not of it.
opinion  analysis  history  banyan 
april 2015 by aries1988
The Vietnam Solution
How a former enemy became a crucial U.S. ally in balancing China’s rise

Chinese administrative norms were “internalized to the point that their alien origins became irrelevant.” The fierce desire of all Vietnamese to be separate from China was reinforced by their contact with the Chams and Khmers to the south, who were influenced by non-Chinese civilizations, particularly India’s. Given their intense similarity with the Chinese, the Vietnamese are burdened by the narcissism of small differences, and this makes events from the past more vivid to them.

Vietnam’s victories over China and over the Chams and Khmers in the south helped to forge a distinct national identity—a process spurred by China’s inability, up through modern times, to let Vietnam alone. In 1946, China colluded with France to have the Chinese occupation forces in northern Vietnam succeeded by French forces. The Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping “never lost his visceral hatred of the Vietnamese,” Templer writes. In addition to deciding in 1979 to send 100,000 Chinese into Vietnam, Deng devised a policy of “bleeding Hanoi white,” by entangling Vietnam in a guerrilla war in Cambodia.

The South China Sea links the Indian Ocean with the western Pacific, connecting global sea routes through the Malacca, Sunda, Lombok, and Makassar Straits. These choke points see the passage of more than half of the world’s annual merchant-fleet tonnage and a third of all maritime traffic worldwide. The oil transported through the Malacca Strait from the Indian Ocean, en route to East Asia by way of the South China Sea, is triple the amount that passes through the Suez Canal and 15 times the amount that passes through the Panama Canal. Some two-thirds of South Korea’s energy supplies, nearly 60 percent of Japan’s and Taiwan’s energy supplies, and about 80 percent of China’s crude-oil imports come through the South China Sea.

Vietnam and China have largely settled the problems created by the Gulf of Tonkin—in which China’s Hainan Island largely blocks the northern Vietnamese coastline from the open sea—by dividing the energy-rich gulf in half. “But we cannot accept the cow’s tongue,” he said, meaning China’s historic nine-dashed line in the South China Sea. “China says the area is in dispute. We say no. The cow’s tongue violates the claims of five countries.”

A Western defense expert in Hanoi tells me that the sale makes no logical sense: “There is going to be real sticker shock for the Vietnamese when they find out just how much it costs merely to maintain these subs.” More important, the expert says, the Vietnamese will have to train crews to use them—a generational undertaking. “To counter Chinese subs,” the expert says, “they would have been better off concentrating on anti-submarine warfare and littoral defense.” Clearly, the Vietnamese bought these submarines as prestige items, to say We’re serious.
diplomacy  usa  china  vietnam  banyan  nation  origin  history 
may 2014 by aries1988
cuisine  vietnam  banyan 
february 2014 by aries1988
Banyan: Churning the oceans | The Economist
Both have globalised rapidly in recent years, encouraging maritime ambitions. Both, in Mr Raja Mohan’s words, are transforming their navies “from forces conceived for coastal defence and denying their neighbouring waters to hostile powers to instruments that can project force far beyond their shores”.

But it and China are in a “security dilemma”, where one country’s “essential steps” to safeguard its interests are taken by the other as threats that demand a response.
china  india  banyan 
november 2012 by aries1988

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