Maung Zarni

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Maung Zarni
Native name

1963 (age 55–56)
Mandalay, Burma
Alma materUniversity of Mandalay (1984)
University of California, Davis (1991)
University of Wisconsin-Madison (1998)
OccupationEducator, Academic, Human rights activist
Known foropposition to the Myanmar genocide

Maung Zarni (Burmese: မောင်ဇာနည်; born 1963) is a Burmese educator, academic, political dissident and human rights activist with 30-years of involvement in the Burmese political affairs.[1][2] He has been denounced as an "Enemy of the State"[3] for his opposition to the Myanmar genocide. [4][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Zarni was born in 1963 into a Burmese buddhist family in Mandalay, Burma. He left for the United States on the eve of Burma’s 1988 uprisings. He graduated with a BSc (Chemistry) from University of Mandalay in 1984, MA from University of California, Davis in 1991 and earned his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998.[7]


As a student in the United States, Zarni founded and led the Free Burma Coalition, the then pioneering Internet-based human rights movement and spearheaded a successful international boycott against Myanmar’s military dictatorship from 1995 to 2004. Zarni has held academic positions, or research and leadership fellowships at National-Louis University in Chicago, Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Program, Georgetown Leadership Seminar, University of Oxford, Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics, UCL Institute of Education, Harvard Medical School, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, University of Malaya and specializing in “Buddhist” racisms and state crimes in Asia.[8]

Zarni is a member of the board of advisors of Genocide Watch and a non-resident fellow at Genocide Documentation Center in Sleuk Rith Institute, Cambodia.[9] He served as a member of the Panel of Judges for the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT) in Sri Lanka in 2013 and initiated the PPT in Myanmar in 2017 which found the Government of Myanmar guilty of genocide against Rohingyas.[10]

Zarni is the co-author, with Natalie Brinham, of "The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingyas", the first academic study that looks at the plight of the Rohingya using the genocide framework (Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, Spring 2014). He joins us on set a week after Amnesty International published a report detailing a massacre carried out by Rohingya militants last August in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where nearly 100 Hindus were killed.[11][12][13] He is also the author of "Life Under the Boot: 50 years of Military Dictatorship in Burma" (Yale University Press).


In 2015, he was awarded the "Cultivation of Harmony Award" by the world's interfaith organization "The Parliament of the World's Religions" in October 2015, for the contributions to the world's interfaith movement combining scholarship and activism.[14]


  • Myanmar’s Enemy of the State speaks: Irreverent Essays and Interviews (Forthcoming 2019)
  • Active Citizens Under Political Wraps: Experiences from Myanmar/Burma and Vietnam (2006)
  • The Free Burma Coalition Manual: How You Can Help Burma's Struggle for Freedom (1997)


  1. ^ "Maung Zarni". Middle East Institute.
  2. ^ "Maung Zarni: Myanmar feels like a big cage for Rohingyas". Dhaka Tribune. 19 February 2018.
  3. ^ "The pro-genocide Irrawaddy honors Maung Zarni by calling him enemy of the Burmese state". Mary Scully Reports. 17 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Maung Zarni: An Open Letter To Burma's Leaders". 9 December 2015.
  5. ^ Tanaka, Chisato (25 October 2018). "Activist for Rohingya Muslims calls on Tokyo to speak out over refugee crisis". The Japan Times Online.
  6. ^ Zarni, Muang (May 19, 2009). "Dr Muang Zarni: Here's how this court ordeal can be turned to her advantage". Independent. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  7. ^ Rahman Khan, Mizanur (11 October 2017). "'Don't be swayed by Suu Kyi's poisonous snakes'". Prothom Alo.
  8. ^ Tin Htwe, Nan (14 January 2013). "Myanmar activist, professor resigns over Brunei university 'censorship'". The Myanmar Times.
  9. ^ "Broader global coalition can solve Rohingya issue". Anadolu Agency. 9 December 2018.
  10. ^ Tin Htwe, Nan (January 14, 2013). "Myanmar activist, professor resigns over Brunei university 'censorship'". The Myanmar Times. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Perspective - Burmese human rights activist: 'Amnesty International has blood on its hands'". France 24. 31 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Dr Maung Zarni". European Centre for the Study of Extremism (EuroCSE).
  13. ^ "Burmese Human Rights Activist Maung Zarni: 'Amnesty International Has Blood on Its Hands'". TRANSCEND Media Service. 4 June 2018.
  14. ^ Parliament of the World's Religions (2016-12-07), Cultivation of Harmony Award - Dr. Zarni, retrieved 2017-09-08

External links[edit]