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Humanitarian doctor to receive 2013 Sydney Peace Prize

Humanitarian doctor to receive 2013 Sydney Peace Prize

Dr Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao Clinic on the Thai-Burmese border, will be the recipient of the 2013 Sydney Peace Prize to be awarded in Sydney on 7 November.

The Sydney Peace Prize Jury’s citation reads: “Dr Maung: for her dedication to multi-ethnic democracy, human rights and the dignity of the poor and dispossessed, and for establishing health services for victims of conflict.”

Dr Maung, ethnic Karen, fled her native Burma during the pro-democracy uprising of 1988 and set up the Mae Tao Clinic on the Thai-Burmese border, where each year 700 staff treat over 150,000 people including refugees, migrant workers and orphans.

Professor Stuart Rees, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation said: “What Dr Cynthia has achieved against the odds really impressed the jury. Her selflessness and the notion that justice is about not financially penalising people for being sick, that healthcare shouldn't be a commercial proposition, affected them greatly.”

Dr Maung has responded: “The prize is a way of bringing international attention to the plight of Burma. It highlights that the peace process needs to be monitored by the international community. It's not going to be a gift.”

The Sydney Peace Prize is Australia’s only international award for peace. Sometimes perceived as controversial, previous recipients have included Professor Muhammad Yunus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Australia’s ‘Father of Reconciliation’ Patrick Dodson, Professor Noam Chomsky and last year the formidable Senator Sekai Holland

Singapore Airlines, a Partner in Peace, will fly Dr Maung to Australia for the first week of November to deliver the annual City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture in the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 6 November and receive the 2013 Peace Prize ($50,000 and a trophy crafted by the artist in glass Brian Hirst) at a Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony at MacLaurin Hall, University of Sydney on Thursday 7 November.
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