News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 11, 2014

CANDLES to show movie about trouble in Burma


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — As part of its 2013-2014 speaker and film series, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will host a presentation on “Burma: The Struggle for Basic Human Rights,” at 6 p.m. Thursday. Myra Dahgaypaw, campaigns coordinator at the U.S. Campaign for Burma in Washington, will take part in the program.

Admission is free, and the event is open to the public. Pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m.

For decades Burma, now known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, was ruled by a brutal authoritarian military regime. In 2010, after the first election in 20 years, the country transitioned from military rule to a civilian-led government.

The current government has instituted a number of positive reforms, and in response, the U.S. has begun to re-engage with the nation and recently lifted a number of sanctions previously placed on the country.

Despite this progress, serious human rights abuses continue. Civilians are being killed, and humanitarian aid is restricted. The government continues to restrict freedom of association and expression and to hold political prisoners.

Myra Dahgaypaw is a Karen human rights activist from Karen State in the eastern part of the country in Southeast Asia. She was an internally displaced person for 12 years and a refugee for 17 years, until she resettled in the U.S. Myra lost many family members and friends to the brutality of Burma’s military regime.

Since age 13, Myra has played a strong role in her community as an organizer and a human rights advocate.