Aung San Suu Kyi to address NED 2012 Democracy Award in U.S. Capitol

Aug 28, 2012, 16:22 ET from National Endowment for Democracy

Award Pays tribute to Burma's Democracy Movement

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.  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. Capitol on Sept. 20.

"For nearly a quarter century, the people of Burma have been fighting for democracy against great odds," said NED President Carl Gershman.  "Many thousands have died.  Yet despite the harshest repression, a broad and resilient democratic movement has survived and grown, capturing the imagination of people throughout the world.  Aung San Suu Kyi is the iconic leader of this movement, but beside her are many unsung heroes, brave people who have risked everything to advance their shared goal of a democratic Burma.  With this award, we honor them all."

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.

Full bios and event details are available on the NED website here.

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.

This event is open to the media.  Interested journalists must contact Jane Riley Jacobsen: or 202-378-9700.

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. More information about NED can be found at

SOURCE National Endowment for Democracy