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Twentieth Anniversary of National Endowment For Democracy: Bush Speech - 2003-11-18


Naw Tamla, who is on a three-month internship at Burma-USA Campaign in Washington, D.C. attended the National Endowment for Democracy‘s 20th anniversary celebration on November 6th.

She talked about President Bush’s speech at the event especially on freedom and democracy. She said she was elated to hear President Bush mention Burma in his speech, "Our commitment to democracy is tested in countries like Cuba and Burma and North Korea and Zimbabwe -- outposts of oppression in our world. The people in these nations live incaptivity, and fear and silence. Yet, these regimes cannot hold back freedom forever -- and one day, from prison camps and prison cells, and from exile, the leaders of new democracies will arrive."

She also talked about the President’s quote of how Morocco’s King Mohammed urged the new parliament to extend the rights to women… .."How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated…… .”

Naw Tamla noted half of Burma’s current population of over 52 million people are women and their rights needed to be extended in different fields of nation- building capacity.

Her definition of democracy is freedom for the people to be able to elect the government of their choice. She said the first thing she noticed in the U.S. is that the people enjoy basic freedoms that the Burmese people do not have under the military dictatorship.

When she returns to the Thai-Burma border after her internship, she hopes to use the knowledge that she has acquired here such as lobbying for public support to exercise the rights of refugees and displaced Burmese people especially to protest from being forcibly relocated.

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