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					                               P.O. Box 67, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thailand.
                  865 Moo 1, Intarakiri Rd., Tha Sai Luad, Mae Sot, Tak Province 63110
                 Fax: (055) 544-655, email: info@maetaoclinic.org, www.maetaoclinic.org


For Immediate Release
20 September 2012

Dr. Cynthia to accept the National Endowment for Democracy 2012 Democracy Award

Dr. Cynthia Maung, Founder and Director of the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand, is one
of the five individuals accepting this year’s Democracy Award, sponsored by the US-based
foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The award will honour the Democracy Movement of Burma and will be accepted by five key
figures in the fight for democracy and human rights in the country: Dr. Cynthia Maung, Min
Ko Naing, Hkun Htun Oo, Kyaw Thu and Aung Din.

The awards ceremony will be held in Washington D.C. on Thursday 20 September from 3:00
– 4:00 pm (EDT).

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be in attendance and will address the award recipients and
audience.

Mae Tao Clinic is honoured that Dr. Cynthia has been awarded this recognition of her work
in providing crucial health care services and advocating for the rights of displaced people on
the Thai-Burma border. The events in Washington this week are particularly significant for
Dr. Cynthia as she has the chance to meet with US government officials and for the first time
meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Hkun Htun Oo and Kyaw Thu. Mae Tao Clinic hopes that
this week will be an opportunity to share experiences face-to-face with our fellow Burmese
activists.

During her week in Washington, Dr. Cynthia will be raising her concerns regarding
international attention turning from the humanitarian situation on the border towards the
political changes in Rangoon and Naypyidaw, which have not yet resulted in any
improvements in the lives of displaced people, especially in terms of health and education.
Dr. Cynthia hopes that this award will be an opportunity to highlight the continuing human
rights abuses and displacement that hundreds of thousands are facing in Burma’s ethnic
areas and in particular in Kachin State.

The profiles of Dr. Cynthia’s fellow award honorees are as follows:

Min Ko Naing is a founding member of the 88 Generation Students Group, which played a
key role in the 2007 Saffron Revolution. He rose to international prominence for his
leadership role in the pro-democracy protests in 1988 (popularly known as the “8888
Uprising”), during which time he was chairman of the All Burma Federation of Student
Unions (ABFSU).
Hkun Htun Oo is a leading politician from Burma’s Shan State and Chairman of the Shan
Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) party. Following the 8888 Uprising, he ran in
the 1990 parliamentary elections as the head of the SNLD, which won 23 seats, the second
most of any party after the National League for Democracy (NLD). After the military
government annulled the results, Hkun Htun Oo continued to work for democratic change
within the country, for which he was arrested in 2005 and given a 93-year prison term for
treason, defamation, and inciting dissatisfaction toward the government. He was released
from prison in a presidential amnesty on January 13, 2012.

Kyaw Thu is a two-time Myanmar Academy Award winning film director and actor, as well
as founder and president of the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), which, since 2001, has
provided free funeral services to more than 110,000 people across Burma. In addition, FFSS
operates a free clinic for the poor, supports scholarships, organizes vocational and
computer trainings, and helps to meet the health needs of former political prisoners. After
his release, Kyaw Thu and FFSS played a vital role in rescue and fundraising efforts in the
aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Burma’s Irrawaddy delta and cost over
130,000 lives in May 2008.

Aung Din served over four years behind bars as a political prisoner in Burma after helping
to organize the country’s nationwide pro-democracy uprising in 1988 as Vice-Chairperson
of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), the largest national student
organization and outlawed by the regime. In 2003, he co-founded the Washington, DC-based
U.S. Campaign for Burma (USCB), an umbrella group of Burmese dissidents in exile and
American activists, where he now serves as executive director.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Cynthia Maung (USA from Sept 18 – 23): +1 240 370 5908 or info@maetaoclinic.org

Eh Thwa (Thailand): +66 810448521

				
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