Burma Advocate Honored with Canada’s Highest Civilian Award
30 December 2010: A long-time Burma supporter and human rights activist has been awarded the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor given to outstanding citizens from all sectors of society.
Paul Copeland, a Toronto-based Canadian human rights lawyer, is one of 54 new inductees to the Order of Canada by the country’s Head of State Governor-General the Right Honorable David Johnston.
He is recognized for his “contributions as an advocate for human rights and social justice,” according to a media statement posted on the Governor General of Canada’s website.
“Paul is a tireless, consistent, strong, dedicated supporter for human rights and democracy in Burma,” said Kyaw Zaw Way, a leading Burmese activist and Toronto resident who has been closely working with Paul for several years. Kyaw Zaw Way played an important role in recently getting the Canadian Government to extend a formal invitation to Burma’s democrat Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Canada to receive her honorary Canadian citizenship.
A prolific lawyer with a long and highly reputable record in the legal profession, Paul is a founding member of the Toronto-based Canadian Campaign for Free Burma (CCFB), as well as, a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB). In these capacities, Paul works to mobilize Canadian support for Burma democracy movement since 1988.
Congratulating Paul on his award, CFOB Executive Director Tin Maung Htoo said, “Paul is one of the key Burma supporters in Canada since 1988 and is fondly known to be passionate about three things: the law, the movement to restore democracy to Burma and motorcycle.”
Paul and 53 other recipients of the Order of Canada will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.
The Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 40 years, more than 5 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.