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Burmese Human Rights Activist Speaks at UK

Chase Cavanaugh

Burmese human rights activist Wai Wai Nu (pronounced wey-wey-new) spoke to a crowd of over 50 at the University of Kentucky Thursday.  A member of the country’s Muslim minority, the Rohingya, she was jailed from 2005 to 2012 for her father’s attempts to run for political office.   She discussed how the Rohingya have been increasingly marginalized by Burma’s Buddhist majority, including systematic discrimination, confiscation of land and property, and incarceration.  She also touched on the factors that keep her going as an activist.    

“All human beings are the same in human dignity and human rights.  That knowledge makes me empowered to fight against injustice and human rights violations,” she said.

Through her organization, Women Peace Network Arakan, Nu hopes to raise greater awareness of these abuses, encourage interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and prompt other nations to push for Rohingya human rights.      

Nu's visit was sponsored by the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.  

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.