Monday, November 14, 2011

Pre-trip Training Session 2

Here's an idea of what we've been doing to prepare for our work in Thailand.

October 29, 2011 

Topic: Democracy and Freedom (or lack thereof) in Burma 

I. Discussion of Democracy and Freedom (what are the road signs of democracy and lack of
democracy?) Activity split between two groups -

Group 1:
Signs for democracy:
. Human rights
. Active citizenship
. Effective voting systems
. Effective rule of law
. Peaceful regime changes
. Pendulum of ideologies
. Separation of military and government
. Separation of powers within
. Economic well-being
. Strong infrastructure
. Tolerance of opposing ideas, religions,

Signs against democracy:
. Corruption
. Dictatorship
. Lack of free and fair elections
. Not allowing opposition/one-party
. Poverty
. On-going conflicts

Group 2:
Signs for democracy:
. Immigration into and out of the country
. Open-market system
. Tourism
. International support
. Freedom of speech and press
. Communication
. Civil society
. Community involvement
. Transparency
. Ability to have change happen

Signs against democracy:
. Lack of freedom (freedom of press,
speech, religion, etc.)
. Human rights abuses
. Press censorship
. Violence/conflict
. Ineffective policing
. Corruption in government
. Under martial law
. Inequality (social, economic, etc.)

II. Articles

. CANVAS (Center for non-violent action strategies)
o They travel around and give trainings on how to have a non-violent revolution
o What is a non-violent revolution? It is war without weapons
o They have been instrumental in bringing down other regimes
o Are now working with the Burmese
o They take their blueprint and then shape it to the local context
o Burmese is so different b/c the regime is so repressive in Burma

o Came up with a lot of good ideas, but in the end, participants said, “It’s not practical.”

. Burma Censorship
o Trying to uplift censorship laws in Burma
o They lifted laws on not having to approve lottery numbers or sports articles
o Even with these changes, jail sentences continue for journalists speaking out against the


National Council on the Union of Burma 
(NCUB) (

o Background
. Started in 1992
. Combination of 4 organizations of political movements that got together;
inspired by 1990 election fiasco that SLORK said they won
. Pro- freedom, democracy
. Against current govt
. Aim to achieve a democracy

o Objectives
. Abolition of military dictatorship
. Internal peace
. Democracy
. Establishment of a genuine Federal Union

o Want to bring empowerment to the people
o Seem active (but website full of broken links; hard to get good information on their

. Burma Partnership
“Strengthening Cooperation for a Free Burma”

o Vision: envisions a free and democratic Burma that upholds the principles of human
rights, equality, and justice
o Partnership of 4 NGOs that are operating
o Mission: network of organizations, advocating for and mobilizing a movement for
democracy and human rights in Burma
o Current campaigns
. 2010 elections
. Crimes Against Humanity
. Environmental and economic justice

IV. Logistics

. Turn in!!! . Forms, AUID, Passport photocopy, health insurance card photocopy, consent form,
alcohol agreement
. Service project: PROTEST!!!
o Anne sending out info to list servs
o Kristen’s making a flyer
o Kate’s passing out flyers
o Facebook event
o Post on Today at AU
. Vaccines (malaria, typhoid pills, hep-A, hep-B, diarrhea pills)

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