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Burmese Young Leaders Inspired Ahead of Elections
The southeast Asian nation of Burma is set to hold nationwide multiparty elections on November 8, the first since 1990 when the country’s former military junta denied the opposition a landslide victory and put Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
Amidst the intensifying election season, eighteen men and women participating in the Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum gathered in Yangon from October 8 to 11 to continue their training on the foundations of political and economic freedom. They also worked to refine personal leadership plans to advance democratic and social change.
Learn more about the beginning of the Young Leaders’ journey with the Liberty and Leadership Forum and their inspirational meeting in Dallas this summer with President George W. Bush and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama:
Stay tuned next week for a series of blogs from our Young Leaders discussing the elections and their country’s future.
Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.
A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.Full Bio
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ICYMI: Bush Institute Young Leader Discusses the Rohingya Crisis on Nightline
Bush Institute Liberty and Leadership Forum young leader Nickey Diamond (Ye Myint Win), of Yangon, Burma, recently spoke to ABC’s Bob Woodruff about the Burmese government’s brutal persecution of the Rohingya people. During the interview, Diamond explained how one-sided messages from the Burmese government and Buddhist leaders manipulate the general public into hating the Rohingya and believing they are terrorists. The segment also enabled Diamond to share his human rights work, which documents Burmese military officers’ crimes against humanity. Diamond has been threatened and often worries for his family’s safety. Still, he told Woodruff, “They’ll never stop what I’m doing.” Watch the full story on ABC Nightline.