Thursday, 20 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

An International Campaign to Reform Burma's Constitution Currently Banning Women and Aung San Suu Kyi From Running for President

Friday, 22 November 2013 09:55 By Staff, The Burma Project | Report
Vancouver-based investigative journalist Alan Clements recently returned to Burma (aka Myanmar) to document a country unravelling from decades of totalitarian tyranny. Un-blacklisted from Burma after 17 years, and following the personal advice of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Clements filmed for three months, gathering 250 hours of footage that includes 100 feature length interviews with Burma's leading voices of freedom. A former Buddhist monk in Burma for nearly five years and author of a number of books on the country's 25 year long struggle for democracy, including The Voice of Hope, the acclaimed book of conversations with Aung San Suu Kyi (endorsed by US President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and numerous other Nobel Peace laureates), Burma: The Next Killing Fields? (with a foreword by the Dalai Lama) and Burma's Revolution of the Spirit (including essays by eight Nobel Peace laureates), Clements, also one of the world's leading authorities on Burma's unique form of Buddhism, provides a fresh and powerful insight into the country's tenuous transition from dictatorship to democracy, with access to the words of the people at the heart of its struggle.


Among them, 25 of the world's most courageous nonviolent revolutionaries, men and women - Burma's leading intellectuals, artists, and writers - who spent collectively over 300 years behind bars for their beliefs and peaceful actions. Included are senior statesmen U Win Tin and U Tin Oo, former political prisoners and founding members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) - Aung San Suu Kyi's political party; along with Aung San Suu Kyi's most trusted colleagues, nine fellow members of parliament. Clements also secured extremely rare interviews with Aung San Suu Kyi's spiritual teacher and advisor, the 93 year old Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Pandita, along with Archbishop Charles Bo, the President of the Muslim Federation of Myanmar, and the infamous Buddhist monk, U Wirathu, featured on the cover of Time as “Buddhism's New Face of Terror.”

Combined with Clements' unparalleled audio and visual archive – recently rescued from Burma after three life-threatening missions – these materials, representing the world's most comprehensive historical record of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s voices of nonviolent struggle, will be presented in a film and book titled, “Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's Voices of Freedom.” This essential work showcases their most important spiritual and political lessons learned in waging nonviolent struggle. It also serves as a guide for activists worldwide to challenge dictatorship and succeed. And it shows how to prevent it from rearising in the future.

By utilizing the global crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, Alan Clements and his “Use Your Liberty” team have started an international grass roots campaign to raise awareness and funds to freely distribute this treasure trove of materials to every school, library, university and person in Burma for the purpose of inspiring a population that has been denied access to their revolutionary leaders for the past two decades, and moreover, to change Burma's constitution now.

Aung San Suu Kyi recently called on global citizens to "pressure the leaders of her country" for an immediate reform to the military-drafted constitution that enshrines military-rule, still banning women from holding high office and Aung San Suu Kyi herself – a member of parliament - from running for president in the upcoming elections. 

She has gone on to say “if there is no willingness to amend the Constitution, that means there’s no willingness to create peace, stability and development.” In other words, businesses and governments beware - nothing is safe, and recent changes betray yet another face of totalitarianism.

“Alan Clements is a riveting communicator - challenging and inspiring. He articulates the essentials of courage and leadership in a way that can stir people from all sectors of society into action; his voice is not only a great contribution during these changeful times, it is a needed one.”

— Jack Healy, former director of Amnesty International
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Related Stories

Burma’s Turn
By Joseph E Stiglitz, Project Syndicate | Op-Ed
Burma 2012: Democracy and Dictatorship
By Bertil Lintner, Japan Focus | News Analysis

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An International Campaign to Reform Burma's Constitution Currently Banning Women and Aung San Suu Kyi From Running for President

Friday, 22 November 2013 09:55 By Staff, The Burma Project | Report
Vancouver-based investigative journalist Alan Clements recently returned to Burma (aka Myanmar) to document a country unravelling from decades of totalitarian tyranny. Un-blacklisted from Burma after 17 years, and following the personal advice of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Clements filmed for three months, gathering 250 hours of footage that includes 100 feature length interviews with Burma's leading voices of freedom. A former Buddhist monk in Burma for nearly five years and author of a number of books on the country's 25 year long struggle for democracy, including The Voice of Hope, the acclaimed book of conversations with Aung San Suu Kyi (endorsed by US President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and numerous other Nobel Peace laureates), Burma: The Next Killing Fields? (with a foreword by the Dalai Lama) and Burma's Revolution of the Spirit (including essays by eight Nobel Peace laureates), Clements, also one of the world's leading authorities on Burma's unique form of Buddhism, provides a fresh and powerful insight into the country's tenuous transition from dictatorship to democracy, with access to the words of the people at the heart of its struggle.


Among them, 25 of the world's most courageous nonviolent revolutionaries, men and women - Burma's leading intellectuals, artists, and writers - who spent collectively over 300 years behind bars for their beliefs and peaceful actions. Included are senior statesmen U Win Tin and U Tin Oo, former political prisoners and founding members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) - Aung San Suu Kyi's political party; along with Aung San Suu Kyi's most trusted colleagues, nine fellow members of parliament. Clements also secured extremely rare interviews with Aung San Suu Kyi's spiritual teacher and advisor, the 93 year old Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Pandita, along with Archbishop Charles Bo, the President of the Muslim Federation of Myanmar, and the infamous Buddhist monk, U Wirathu, featured on the cover of Time as “Buddhism's New Face of Terror.”

Combined with Clements' unparalleled audio and visual archive – recently rescued from Burma after three life-threatening missions – these materials, representing the world's most comprehensive historical record of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s voices of nonviolent struggle, will be presented in a film and book titled, “Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's Voices of Freedom.” This essential work showcases their most important spiritual and political lessons learned in waging nonviolent struggle. It also serves as a guide for activists worldwide to challenge dictatorship and succeed. And it shows how to prevent it from rearising in the future.

By utilizing the global crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, Alan Clements and his “Use Your Liberty” team have started an international grass roots campaign to raise awareness and funds to freely distribute this treasure trove of materials to every school, library, university and person in Burma for the purpose of inspiring a population that has been denied access to their revolutionary leaders for the past two decades, and moreover, to change Burma's constitution now.

Aung San Suu Kyi recently called on global citizens to "pressure the leaders of her country" for an immediate reform to the military-drafted constitution that enshrines military-rule, still banning women from holding high office and Aung San Suu Kyi herself – a member of parliament - from running for president in the upcoming elections. 

She has gone on to say “if there is no willingness to amend the Constitution, that means there’s no willingness to create peace, stability and development.” In other words, businesses and governments beware - nothing is safe, and recent changes betray yet another face of totalitarianism.

“Alan Clements is a riveting communicator - challenging and inspiring. He articulates the essentials of courage and leadership in a way that can stir people from all sectors of society into action; his voice is not only a great contribution during these changeful times, it is a needed one.”

— Jack Healy, former director of Amnesty International
This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Related Stories

Burma’s Turn
By Joseph E Stiglitz, Project Syndicate | Op-Ed
Burma 2012: Democracy and Dictatorship
By Bertil Lintner, Japan Focus | News Analysis

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus