Dr. Cynthia Maung: people in Burma still oppressed

More than a 1,000 well-wishers turned up at the Child Development Center, a migrant school based in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, to celebrate Dr. Cynthia Maung’s 53rd birthday on the 6th December.

Despite her Mae Tao Clinic facing a severe funding shortfall of US$320,000, Dr Cynthia Maung, continues to provide health care to refugees and migrant workers from Burma. Dr Cynthia Muang’s Mae Tao Clinic has been operating on the Thai Burma border for 24 years.

Mae Tao Clinic offers the migrant community along the Thai-Burma border help on social, education and health issues. Dr Cynthia Maung founded the Mae Tao Clinic in 1989 to treat refugees and migrant workers from Burma. The Clinic is located in the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot. Dr. Cynthia Maung used the occasion to remind people, including politicians, that despite the reforms in Burma there is still oppression.

“I appreciate and I am thankful to everyone. Now in our country, even though people are peacefully struggling for justice, they are still oppressed. Therefore, I would like to urge that each one of us to work together for genuine peace and for winning our rights.”

The attending the celebrations included local Thai community leaders, women groups, youth groups, migrant teachers and students and members of social and political organizations.

Dr Cynthia’s birthday celebrations started with traditional Karen dancing by migrant students from the CDC school. The celebrations were followed by speeches from Khun Phanida from Tak Primary Educational Service Area Office 2 , U Khun Mahn Ko Ban – Kayan National leader, Kyaw Kyaw Min Htunt – representative of migrant teachers, Saw Win Kyaw – representing health organizations and Naw Dah Eh Kler from the Karen Women Organization.

Naw Dah Eh Kler from the Karen Women’s Organisation said.

“Dr. Cynthia has struggled hard for human rights. She has been giving care to many people from Burma who were in difficulties. She is a historic woman leader for our organization.”

May Thant Zin Maung, Dr. Cynthia’ Maung’s daughter said.

“My mom alone couldn’t have done it all on her own and thanks all who worked hand-in-hand with her. She still needs to continue her social work, I want to ask everyone to continue working and helping her. I also pray that my mom will live healthily and happily.”

Following a series of speeches migrant schools, the Back Pack Health Worker Team and individual Karen singers performed songs to honour Dr Cynthia Maung.

Dr. Cynthia Maung came to the Thai-Burma border and founded Mae Tao Clinic in 1988, after the 1988 uprising led by students in Burma. Dr. Cynthia Maung’s clinic treats as many as 140,000 Burmese people a year and has been opened for 24 years. Dr Cynthai is also involved in health, education and other social issues and she is the chairperson of Burma Medical Association and the Back Pack Health Worker Team.

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