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DPNS delegation visited the Philippines

 

DPNS delegation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Hon. Walden Bello, a party-list MP of Akbayan Party at the House Speaker Office in the building of House of Representatives, the Republic of Philippines.

DPNS sent its 6-member delegation to the Philippines for a study-tour from 20 to 30 November 2001.  With the invitation of Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) in the Philippines, the trip was organized in cooperation of DPNS and Akbayan (Citizen Action Party of the Philippines).  The delegation includes party representatives, youth and women representatives and worker representatives from Yaung-Chi-Oo Worker Association (YCOWA).  This study-visit aims at sharing experiences between the two parties including their local partners regarding their respective education programmes and establishing ties with women, youth and worker associations as well as meetings with government officials at various levels of administration in order to present updates and DPNS views on Burma’s political development.

During the 10-day visit in Manila, the delegation received an audience with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. at the House Speaker Office in the parliament building together with Hon. Walden Bello, a party-list MP of Akbayan Party.  The group visited the Commission on Human Rights and held a meeting with the Commission’s Chairperson Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales and two commissioners where updates on Burmese political development and situation of human rights were discussed.  The delegation also visited the National Youth Commission and various government agencies.  The party delegation was honored by a lunch meeting with Mr. Ronaldo M. Llamas, the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs at the President Guest House.

The study-tour included visiting civil society organizations and meetings with various social movements, such as Alliance of Progressive Labors (APL) and Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN), Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF), Centre for People Empowerment (CPE), Free Debt Coalition (FDC) and Akbayan Youth.  The group also held a forum on Burma for university students at the University of Saint Thomas (UST).

“We have learnt a lot from the experiences of our Akbayan comrades not only in the process of political transition and democratization from national to local levels, but also in the development of civil society and various social movements.” said Naw Maybel Htoo, the international secretary of DPNS-Youth. “In addition, when we met with the government leaders and political leaders, we could present our views on Burma’s current political situation and scenarios, particularly about our concerns on the ASEAN’s grant to the Burmese regime to take the Chairmanship in 2014 as we see it is still too early to give the [Burmese] government a credit as such. Because it is hard to say whether the regime has a genuine political will for political change toward democratization in Burma,” she added.

 

DPNS delegation at the entrance of House of Representatives, the Republic of the Philippines.

DPNS delegation had a meeting with the Chairperson of Commission on Human Rights Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales and two commissioners.

DPNS delegation with the Chairwoman of Commission on Human Rights Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales and two commissioners.

DPNS delegation in front of the Office of President of the Republic of Philippines.

DPNS delegation had a lunch meeting with Mr. Ronaldo M. Llamas, the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs at the President Guest House in Manila, the Philippines on 29 November 2011.

DPNS delegation with Mr. Ronaldo M. Llamas, the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs at the President Guest House in Manila, the Philippines on 29 November 2011.

DPNS delegation with the Commissioner of National Youth Commission of the Republic of the Philippines.

DPNS delegation meeting with the AKbayan leaders at the Headquarters of the Akbayan Party in the Philippines.

DPNS delegation with members of Akbayan Youth.

Naw Maybel Htoo gave a DPNS flag to the Akbayan Youth.

DPNS delegation with leaders of trade unions at the office of Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) in Manila, the Philippines.

DPNS delegation with members of village council at the Barangay Kaypian.

DPNS delegation observed the feeding programme in a village.

DPNS delegation with children at the feeding programme of Akbayan in a village near Barangay Kaypian.

DPNS delegation was warmly received by community members in the village of Barangay Graceville, City of San Jose del Monte, the Philippines.

Naw Maybel Htoo and Naddy received a certificate of appreciation to the DPNS delegation, given by the village-head at the village high school in Barangay Graceville, City of San Jose del Monte, the Philippines.

Naw Maybel Htoo made a appreciation remark at the event in Barangay Graceville.

DPNS delegation with members of village council at the Barangay Graceville, City of San Jose del Monte, the Philippines.

A forum on Burma with students of political science at the University of St. Thomas, the Philippines.

DPNS delegation together with students of political science at the University of St. Thomas, the Philippines.

Zaw Zaw Htun and Toe Toe Tun joined a labor rally in Manila, the Philippines together with the Deputy Secretary General of Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) on 30 November 2001.

Training on Media and Political Communication

 

As part of the party’s political education development programme in cooperation with Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) from the Philippines, DPNS organized training on ‘Media and Political Communication’ from 21 to 23 October 2011 at the DPNS Worker Education Centre.  Party members and students from party political school joined the training.

U Aung Naing from Inter-News based in Chiang Mai lectured on Overviews of Media in Burma and facilitated group activities on Content Analysis on the first day of training. Then, Mr. Jonas Bagas and Ms. Sabrina Gacad from ACF facilitated on the topics of Concepts of Mass Media, Media for Political Advocacy and Campaigns, Messaging and Message-development, Communicating the Message and Integrated Communication Plan.

 

Training on HIV/AIDS and Political Action

 

Training on ‘HIV/AIDS and Political Action’ was held from 16 to 18 October 2011 at the DPNS Worker Education Centre.  This three-day training is one of the activities in the ‘Political Education Development’ programme in cooperation of the DPNS and Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) from the Philippines for party members and students of party political school.  There were 40 participants in the training.

On the first day, Ms Jackie Pollock, Director of MAP Foundation, lectured and facilitated on the topic of HIV/AIDS and Gender Sensitivity and Saw Aung Than Wai, Senior Public Health Officer of Mae Tao Clinic gave a lecture on HIV/AIDS and Responsibility of Youth.  On the last two days, Mr. Ferdie Buenviaje led the training sessions on HIV/ADIS Education Programme and Development of Political Action Plan for Prevention of HIV/AIDS.

 

DPNS celebrated its 23rd anniversary of party founding day

 

‘To bring about a real change in our country, we need to eliminate an obstacle confronting us on the way ahead.  That is the “2008 Constitution” which is in fact to allow the military regime legitimately to rule our country.  Unless we get rid of it, it is much more hardly to get on the right track towards democracy.’

Aung Moe Zaw, the Chairperson of DPNS

 

DPNS celebrated the 23rd anniversary of party founding day by organizing an event of political gathering at the party worker education centre on 14 October 2011.  The event started with an opening remark by Party Chair Aung Moe Zaw.  In his speech, he made the point that any tangible change has yet to be seen in Burma, and he continued by saying that ‘To bring about a real change in our country, we need to eliminate an obstacle confronting us on the way ahead.  That is the “2008 Constitution” which is in fact to allow the military regime legitimately to rule our country.  Unless we get rid of it, it is much more hardly to get on the right track towards democracy.’ He also mentioned the party’s support to the efforts made by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for reforming the 2008 Constitution, democratization and national reconciliation in Burma.

Members of political and civil organizations, activists and supporters joined the event.  At the event, leaders of political and civil organizations gave speeches commemorating 23rd anniversary of DPNS along with its struggle for democracy, equality and social justice in Burma.  They included Saw Thamein Tun of KNU, Khaing Soe Naing Aung, Vice-chair of National Democratic Front (NDF), Dr Naing Aung, Secretary General of Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB), Khin Ohmar, Chairperson of Network for Democracy and Development (NDD), U Bo Thaung, Chair of National League for Democracy-Liberated Area (NLD-LA), Noe Noe Htet San, Deputy Secretary General of FDB, U Myo Win, Vice-chair of All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) and U Min Naing, Spokesperson of All Burma Federation of Student Unions – Foreign Affairs Committee (ABFSU-FAC).  The gathering ended with appreciation remark by Ngwe Lin, party general secretary.

Organizing under a Repressive Regime

 

A seminar titled in “Organizing under a Repressive Regime: Sharing experiences of Burma and the Philippines” was held from 29 to 31 August 2011 at the DPNS Worker Education Centre as a party of political education programme, a series of joint activities organized by the DPNS and Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) of the Philippines.  At the opening session, Party Chair Aung Moe Zaw and the Secretary General, of Akbayan Party Mr Conrad Castillo, Jr. made opening remarks.

The three-day event focused on two country’s experiences– Burma Sharing: Setting the Context (Burma’s struggle for Democracy/ History of resistance movement); and Philippine Sharing: History of the Philippine Left and the Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy.  At the last session, assessments on the two parties, the DPNS and the Akbayan were made.  There were 54 participants including party members, students from the DPNS political school, leaders of Burmese movements and four guest speakers from the Philippines.  They are Mr Ricardo Reyes, a Former Akbayan Chair, Mr Conrad Castillo, Jr., the Secretary General of Akbayan Party and Ms Ellene Sana, Akbayan 4th Nominee., and Mr Arnold Tarrobago, the ACF Burma Project Coordinator.

 

Political Education Programme

 

A series of training for the party’s political education programme started on 22 July 2011 by organizing two trainings at the DPNS Worker Education Centre near Thai-Burmese border.  The programme is organized in cooperation between ACF of the Philippines, an institute for citizenship education led by Akbayan activists and DPNS.  The first training conducted from 22 to 24 July focused on the concept of popular education and developing skill in public speaking, and the second one from 26 to 28 July emphasized on facilitation skills for leadership training.  There are 19 participants in the first event and 22 participants in the second one.  The participants are students from the party political school, members of training team and members of youth and women wings.

Workshop on Political Education

 

 

The party organized a workshop for political education programme in cooperation with Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF) of the Philippines from 14 to 16 June 2001 at the DPNS Worker Education Centre near Thai-Burmese border.  There are 19 participants from party’s organizations including youth and women branches.  Two teachers from party political school and a guest from ABF of Sweden also observed activities of the three-day workshop.  The workshop agenda included Introduction to ACF and DPNS, Training Needs Analysis, Programme Orientation and Presentation and Deliberation of Training Modules.

Party Political Training School Opened

 

The first programme of party’s political training school started on 1st May 2011 at the party school.  It is a nine-month training programme in partnership with the Swedish Social Democratic Youth (SSU) aiming at producing new generation of political activists.  Party leaders and members,  leaders of Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB), members of school management committee, two teachers and 27 students joined the opening event of  the programme held in the evening of 1st May 2011 in the school building.  Party Chairperson Aung Moe Zaw gave an opening remark to the participants.