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Published on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 19:42
Iconic democracy activist Min Ko Naing began his first foreign trip yesterday when he left for the Philippines as the leader of a delegation that included other leaders of the 1988 student-led protests against military rule, including Ko Ko Gyi and Pyone Cho.
The five-day trip was arranged by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies in the Philippines as an opportunity for the delegates to observe peace-building processes there.
Min Ko Naing said he was eager to observe the situation in the Philippines because, like Myanmar, it had been under military rule for years and he was interested in studying its transition.
“The Philippines is more democratic and transparent than ours is in international cooperation,” said the activist who spent about half of his life in prison. “I will study their transition from military dictatorship to democracy and they also want to know about the problems we faced before and are facing now,” he added.
During the visit, the delegates will meet a wide range of people, including government officials, military personnel, representatives of peace and conflict studies organisations and other non-governmental organisations, as well as the British Ambassador to the Philippines.
Min Ko Naing, also known as Paw Oo Tun, is a leading democracy activist and dissident. Following the crackdown on the 1988 protests he was imprisoned.
Other members of the “88 Generation” of student protesters have reported delays in obtaining passports, with some saying they had to wait six months. Ko Ko Gyi has visited France while other leaders of the uprising, such as Mya Aye and Pyone Cho, have visited Thailand.