NED 2012 Democracy Award for Five Leading Burmese Activists

Dhaka: The National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) is to award its 2012 Democracy Award to five leading democratic activists from Burma honoring the current democracy movement of Burma, said NED  sources at

The five recipients who will accept the 2012 Democracy Award on behalf of the Democracy Movement of Burma are:

Min Ko Naing, a key leader of both the 1988 student movement and the 2007 Saffron Revolution, has spent most of the past 20 years as a political prisoner in solitary confinement, until his release this January.

Hkun Htun Oo, released from prison this January, is the chairman of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy and is known for his struggle for democracy and national reconciliation among Burma’s many ethnic groups.

Kyaw Thu is a famous film director and actor turned activist who heads one of the country’s most important civil society organizations, the Free Funeral Service Society.

Dr. Cynthia Maung is an ethnic Karen medical doctor who has for more than twenty years operated a health clinic for displaced people on the Thai-Burma Border.

Aung Din was a leader of the 1988 student movement and a former political prisoner who is co-founder and executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma.

The activists have endured prison and torture, and in some cases exile, in their efforts to secure freedom and democracy for the people of Burma.

The award presentation will take place in the U.S. capital of Washington DC on Sept. 20.

Burma Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be among those present to pay tribute to five leading activists from Burma who will accept the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) 2012 Democracy Award honoring the Democracy Movement of Burma.

In addition to Aung San Suu Kyi, confirmed speakers include NED Chairman Richard Gephardt, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).

The award presentation will take place in the U.S. Capitol in Room HC-5 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. and is by invitation only, the source said.

The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit, bipartisan foundation created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. It is active in more than 90 countries, supporting grassroots, democratic initiatives.