Monday, January 17, 2011

Young activists say close cooperation is difficult

Monday, 17 January 2011 12:53 Ko Wild

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Young activists have formed numerous social networks, but they cannot establish strong links with each other, according to members of the social networks.

The well known networks of young activists include the Whole Burma Social Youth Network (SYN) formed by young members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the National Youth Network (NYN) led by student leader Myo Yan Naung Thein, and the foreign- based International Network for Burma (INB).

The SYN was formed on December 8, 2010, and the other social networks were formed after they met Aung San Suu Kyi on December 28, according to network leaders.

The Association for Help (NLD, Rangoon Division) that comprises 15 groups and the NYN are working to build close co-operation between the two groups, Min Han, a member of the Association for the Help (NLD, Rangoon Division), told Mizzima.

“We got in touch with the NYN recently, but it will take a reasonable time to build mutual trust with each other. We need to work with care. There are many young people who are pro-authorities. I don’t think we can co-operate with all youth organisations”, said Min Han.

The Association for Help (NLD, Rangoon Division) has distributed pamphlets containing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

SYN has links with small groups including the ‘BG Blood Donor Group’, the ‘Light for Public’ , which has donated fluorescent lamps to the poor, and the ‘Alin Thit Ootiya (Towards the New Light)’ which provides services for blood tests. The Association for Help (NLD, Rangoon Division) has also collaborated with other groups on blood donation.

NYN officials said that they are discussing ways to co-operate with youth groups in the NLD. The NYN was formed on January 6.

Myo Yan Naung Thein told Mizzima, “We are still talking. NLD young members think that we moved to hastily ahead of them in performing social work. It’s not true. Aung Zeya, the former chairman of the Democratic Party for New Society , is also our group member. We will also co-operate with two other social groups, ‘Sympathetic Hands’ and ‘Sympathetic Foundation’;

When Aung San Suu Kyi met Myo Yan Naung Thein on January 12, she told him that she would like to know the young peoples’ views on the issues, NYN said on its Facebook page.

“When I asked her that what she would National Youth Network to do, she said that young people must decide why our social networks are necessary and what they should do to extend the networks”, Myo Yan Naung Thein said.

The International Network for Burma, which is made up of two Burmese people in Burma and 27 people from the US, India, Thailand, Canada and Japan, has established a link with NYN, and is working on closer ties.

Ashin Thavara, of The All Burma Monks Representative Committee for Foreign Affairs, said, “We have not had discussions with the NYN in detail. We will officially declare whether we will co-operate with them or not”. The All Burma Monks Representative Committee was formed during the Saffron Revolution in 2007.

On December 31, 10 people including Burmese living in the US had a group discussion on Facebook and agreed to collect US $1 from Burmese in exile and use the money to support democracy in Burma.

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