Nov 22, 2019

Sylff@Tokyo: A Long-term Engagement with Myanmar’s Land and Natural Resources Issues

On September 12, SiuSue Mark, a 2001 Sylff fellowship recipient at Columbia University, visited The Nippon Foundation after stopping by the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research.

Sylff Association Chairman Yohei Sasakawa presents Mark with his latest book.

Born in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, Mark emigrated to the United States with her parents when she was five years old and grew up in New York City. Mark studied economic and political development with a regional focus on Asia at Columbia University and received her master’s degree in 2002. Following her first visit to Myanmar in 2008, she became involved in researching Myanmar’s land reform, agrarian social movements, ethnic politics, and land-based investment.

Mark has lived in Myanmar for the past 10 years, during which she obtained a doctorate at Erasmus University Rotterdam for research focusing on finding practical solutions to the global contest for scarce resources. Her PhD dissertation, Land Tenure Reform in Myanmar's Regime Transition: Political Legitimacy versus Capital Accumulation, will be published in the near future.

Mark listens to Mr. Sasakawa recounting his efforts to promote the peace process in Myanmar.

During her visit, Mark had an opportunity to meet with Chairman Yohei Sasakawa of The Nippon Foundation and the Sylff Association. Mr. Sasakawa, who has served since 2013 as a special envoy of the Japanese government for national reconciliation in Myanmar, noted that issues in the country are very complex, being fundamentally different from those in other countries due to not only domestic politics but also international strategies.

On her part, Mark is working as an advisor to the 11-donor Joint Peace Fund and making a valuable contribution to the Myanmar peace process.