Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Credits:
Host: Martin Savidge
Producer: Ben Piven
Assistant Producer: Gizem Yarbil

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The country formerly known as Burma — now called Myanmar — has found itself on President Barack Obama’s long list of countries deserving of direct diplomatic engagement.

Many international observers are hopeful that the Southeast Asian nation of 48 million people will not only respond to overtures by the U.S. — but will also hold a free and fair parliamentary election in fall 2010. Yet, the date has not been announced, and critics aren’t holding their breath.

Joshua of BurmaVJ and Suzanne DiMaggio join Martin Savidge  to explore these issues:

  • Junta background: military rule, media crackdown, & ethnic oppression
  • 2010 elections: fair vote, Constitution, & Aung Sang Suu Kyi
  • U.S. interests: high-level talks, economic engagement, & policy shift

Guests:

Joshua is a Thailand-based journalist for Democratic Voice of Burma. He is also the main character in Burma VJ, an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature this year.

Suzanne DiMaggio is Project Director of the Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Myanmar. As the Director of Policy Studies, she oversees the Society’s task forces, working groups, & Track II initiatives.


Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil interviews Neil Grungras of ORAM, a not-for-profit organization providing legal assistance for refugees fleeing sexual or gender based violence. He describes the difficulties faced by gay, lesbian and transgender refugees who often flee persecution only to find continuing harassment while in transit.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees are among the most vulnerable refugee groups in the world today, according to Neil Grungras, the executive director of Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM).

Read the rest of the article on the Worldfocus website.

Published on the website of the international news program Worldfocus on PBS.

Dr. Ömer Taşpınar and Worldfocus producer Gizem Yarbil discuss the role of several important conservative religious groups in Turkey, including the Gulen movement, which is the largest, and the Mustazaflar-Der, which is influential in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast.

Gizem Yarbil:  How influential are Islamic groups like the Gulen movement and Mustazaflar-Der in Turkey politically and socially?

Ömer Taşpınar: Particularly, the Gulen movement is very influential in the social, economic and cultural (particularly education)  field. The members of this brotherhood are probably in the millions. I think of this movement as a pious Muslim version of freemasons.

It’s essentially a solidarity network and a civil society organization with religious proclivities. Some analyst are bothered by the movement’s cultish attachment to its leader but this is not uncommon in Turkish/Anatolian political culture.

Read the rest of the interview on the Worldfocus website.