Exclusive interview with the founder of OMI and his mission of standing up for democracy in Myanmar

Interview with Aye Kyaw, the Executive Director of Open Myanmar Initiative (OMI). OMI, was founded in 2013, and an open non-political NGO conceived as a think tank and research center as well as education and training center promoting the ideals of the Burmese democratic movement.

Background of Aye Kyaw 

Aye Kyaw co-founded an organization called the Burma Youth Liberation Front, which fought for democratic rights in Myanmar. He also opposed the cancellation of results of Myanmar´s general elections in 1990, won by National League for Democracy. Due to his protests he was arrested in 1992 and spent 6 years in prison. After his release, he continued his human rights and democratic activities. He also volunteered in activities of Former Political Prisoners Organization /FPPS/ and was elected a Member of FPPS Working Committee. He is also a member of 88 Generation Students, a group of former student leaders of pro-democracy movement founded in 1988. 


Avoiding Environmental Disasters

This article looks at conservancy issues in Pahang state (Pahang water basin project), preservation of the environment, anti-mining issues as well as the preservation of wildlife and fauna. Today’s NGOs’ are more collaborative and more proactive than before. Yasmin Rashid shares her thoughts as a founder of Eco Knights and Chairperson of Malaysian Environmental NGOs (MENGO) on what it means to mobilize ourselves as well as available resources to better tackle natural disasters. She shares with readers her game plan where everyone needs to do their part to avoid natural tragedies. Having an understanding of the potential disasters to avoid is just the beginning of understanding the mindset that is needed in Malaysia which is still at its infancy stage. Malaysians need to better understand their collective roles and responsibilities and to face the challenges of tomorrow. Yasmin looks at the challenges, problems and solutions facing environmentalists as they try to reconcile commercial business interests and environmental interests

Cambodian Advocate for children Rights – taking a step towards human rights and greater dignity for children in Cambodia

Program Officer, Rathnak Phorn from the NGO COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD called NGOCRC for short. He talks openly about his role in NGORC and the challenges surrounding children rights in Cambodia. With the problems of human trafficking and cross border trafficking rife, and very little juvenile justice laws in place in Cambodia and with the criminal justice system still emerging, the NGOCRC shares their struggle to act as an advocate for children rights in Cambodia.

Interview with an Enviromentalist Rudi Putra

Rudi Putra, a biologist by training, is dismantling illegal palm oil plantations that are causing massive deforestation in northern Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, protecting the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino. As part of his efforts In 2013 he set up a petition that asked the Indonesian government to enforce better conservation laws. The petition received more than 1.4 million signatures, increasing awareness of environmental issues in Indonesia and attracting widespread international condemnation and support. Rudi received the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2014 for his efforts to combat illegal logging, forest encroachment for palm oil production, and policies that open endangered ecosystems to mining and plantation industries. AsianThinkers caught up with Rudi Putra in Indonesia to better understand the man behind the vision of saving Sumatra’s Leuser ecosystem and what it means to him personally