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Statement on My Exchange and Assessment Trip to Burma

By Khin Ohmar  •  October 25, 2012

As my home country of Burma has begun to open up and I was recently removed from the blacklist, I have decided to take the opportunity to see the situation of the people with my own eyes and listen to their voices directly. Thus I have applied for, and received, a visa to enter Burma for the first time in 24 years.

In the last year, I have watched closely as the government of Burma has begun to implement a reform agenda focusing on economic growth, peace and development. I have followed closely as many influential new players have rushed into the picture in support of this strategy which I am concerned has not yet resulted in substantial benefit to the people. These new players include international donors and financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, as well as the business community. Their reengagement has posed both opportunities and considerable challenges for our country and people at this critical juncture.

The primary task I have taken on over the past 20 years, assigned by the respective organizations I belong to, is to advocate regionally and internationally about the situation of our country and our collective struggle for democracy, human rights, ethnic equality and genuine national reconciliation.

I continue to do this in the current stage of our country’s fragile reform process by continuously engaging with the international community, shedding light on the fundamental challenges people from various communities are facing on the ground and amplifying the voices, needs and recommendations from concerned communities and civil society groups to the international donor and business communities.

The message I am passing on to the international community is that they must ensure their assistance both politically and financially empowers the people, local communities and civil society, improves the social, economic and political life of our people, and does no further harm to our people’s livelihoods or our environment.

It is my hope that, during this visit, I will be able to meet and engage with people, communities, civil society organizations and political entities, and share information and exchange opinions on how we all can work together for sustainable peace and development for the people of our country.

For more information, please contact: Khin Ohmar at +95 (0) 94-959-2989, +66 (0) 81-884-0772 or khinohmar@burmapartnership.org

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