Chin activist among 30 most inspiring world young leaders
21 September 2013: A 29 year-old Chin activist has been profiled by Washington DC-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as one of 30 most inspiring young leaders around the world working to promote democracy.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, General Secretary of the Chin National Party (CNP), is featured alongside 30 young leaders under the age of 30 from more than 20 different countries around the world in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the world’s leading democracy endowment fund created by the United States Congress in 1983.
Other recognized young leaders come from some of the world’s most challenging areas: from Zimbabwe to Belarus, Afghanistan to North Korea, Liberia to Kyrgyzstan.
Salai Ceu Bik Thwng is the only young leader from Burma in the NED’s “30 under 30” list.
Featuring his profile on its website, the NED said, “In a country faced with numerous challenges to its democratic progress, Thawng is a dynamic young ethnic leader and a model for all of Burma.”
Explaining his views on the reform process in Burma, Salai Ceu Bik Thawng said, “Transforming the country from military dictatorship to democracy is but one challenge.We need to think about the broader and more substantive issue of how we can achieve harmony and realize peaceful coexistence in a country that is so diverse in terms of religion and ethnicity.”
In July this year, Salai Ceu Bik Thawng testified at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium highlighting the challenges faced by ethnic political parties in Burma.
Outside of his political role, Salai Ceu Bik Thwawng serves as Executive Director of the Cherry Foundation, an organization that promotes civic awareness among various minorities in Burma, and publishes a quarterly journal on ethnic rights, public policy and federalism.
Mandated by the US Congress, the National Endowment for Democracy is a non-profit organization working in support of activists seeking a democratic future in more than 100 countries, according to its website.
Last year, NED gave Democracy Award to five prominent activists from Burma, including Min Ko Naing, Hkun Htun Oo, Kyaw Thu, Dr. Cynthia Maung and Aung Din.#