I am a Burmese exile taking a near-permanent refuge in New York and Sydney. Here are my essays about Burma and anything else I feel like writing about. And posting the articles I like from selected sites. Bridging Burma to the world this Blog is more of a Politically-Oriented Literary Blog than a Plain News Blog or a Sophisticated Thoughts Blog.
Zar Ni: The Traitor on Islamists’ Payroll? (Part 3)
Dr. Maung Zarni.
My question is why is Dr. Zarni, a self-proclaimed religious
Buddhist from Mandalay the former royal capital of imperial Burma, writing
these vitriolic essays suddenly attacking his own race, religion, and culture?
To answer that question we have to find out who exactly is
financing Zarni’ three years time (2011-2013) at LSE as a Visiting Fellow, a
lucrative post (worth almost half a million bucks US?) for a self-proclaimed
What Exactly is a Visiting Fellow at the LSE?
Avisiting fellow normally is anacademic, often a senior academic, who is undertaking research at a
different institution than his or her main institution for a limited period,
often at a prestigious foreign institution like LSE or Oxford University in
A visiting fellow
can be paid or unpaid; most of the times his or her salary is paid by the home
institution and sometimes (rarely) by the host institution and quite often by a
third party. The duration of such a visiting fellowship can be a few weeks to a
few years in duration.
When I was doing
my Master degree in mid 1980s more than 50% of our university’s faculty were
all visiting professors sponsored by foreign donor governments and donor
institutions. The salaries and housing costs and other expenses like health
insurances for those visiting professors were fully paid for by their
respective governments or institutions.
In Dr. Zarni’s
case the host institution LSE clearly is not paying his salary for three years
which could normally be almost half a million bucks US for a comparable
professorship at LSE. Otherwise he wouldn’t be called a Visiting Fellow. He
would be on the LSE staff as a proper professor.
So who is paying
for Zarni’s visiting fellowship and why is LSE not disclosing that fact to the
general public unlike the cases of other visiting fellows at LSE?
Why is LSE not disclosing Zarni’s financial Sponsors?
LSE has always
disclosed the financial sponsors of its Visiting Fellows. Even if the funding
is from the People Republic of China, a Communist country. Following from the
LSE website is the particulars of such Visiting Fellows sponsored by the Red
China in their Chevening Programme at LSE.
“The Chevening Programme is
organised jointly by the LSE, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Embassy
of the UK in Beijing, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples
Republic of China.
Current Chevening Fellow Zhou
Guohui is the current Chevening Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is the
Division Director for Southern African Affairs in the African Bureau of the
Central Committee's International Department.
Liu Tao is the current Chevening
Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is the Deputy Director (First Secretary) at
the Office of the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum
on China-Africa Cooperation in the Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in China.”
“Zarni's main research interests
include the political economy of violence, conflict and international
development, democratic transformations in Asia, and post-Cold War
geo-politics. His forthcoming book on Burma will be published by Yale
Previously, he taught
sociological foundations of education at the National-Louis University in
Chicago, and held various academic and leadership fellowships at Chulalongkorn
University, Thailand (2010), Department of International Development, Oxford
University (2006-09), the Institute of Education, the University of London
(2005), Georgetown University (2004) and the Rockefeller Foundation (2001-03).”
both LSE and Zarni deliberately hiding our Dr. Zarni’s sponsoring university or
institution? So many Burmese are emailing me on that suspicious fact and after
a few days of investigative work I found this crucial piece of important information
on, out of all places, the website of the Brunei’s national university Universiti
Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei’s
national university, was established in January
of 2012. The IAS’s inaugural
research programmes include Borneo Studies, South China Sea Studies, Popular
Culture, Economic and Financial Integration in Asia, and Human/ Capital
Movements in Asia.
country’s strategic location in the hub of Asia, its political stability and
the growing national emphasis attached to research and development at UBD, the
IAS is an ideal home for the scholars and practitioners engaged in research on
And following is what UBD has of our Dr. Zarni on its website.
non-government delegate to the Shangri-la Dialogue, Zarni is Programme Leader
in the South China Studies at the IAS where he holds an Associate Professorship
specializing in politics. Concurrently,
he is a Visiting Fellow (2011-13) with the Civil Society and Human Security
Research Unit at the London School of Economics.”
UBD’s IAS just established on January 2012 has been paying for Zarni’s Visiting
Fellow position at LSE since 2011, unbelievable.
he really Working for the IAS of UBD?
serious question every Burmese patriot should be asking either LSE or Dr. Zarni
is why is that crucial information that Zarni is financially sponsored by the
Brunei’s national university UBD is not mentioned anywhere on the LSE website.
And the second
question should be that why has Zarni never mentioned that important detail in
any of his articles or media interviews while constantly emphasizing only on his Visiting
Fellow position at the LSE.
answer I reckoned is that both Zarni and LSE do not want general public to know
that Dr. Zarni is on the payroll of Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Why? I asked
myself, for UBD the national university of mega-oil-rich Brunei is a reputable
is a huge unless, UBD is not really paying for Dr. Zarni’s services at either IAS
or LSE. Maybe some shadowy Islamic organization has been paying for Zarni’s