2018 Aurora Prize Laureate Visited RAU
On June 11, Russian-Armenian University hosted the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung, a lawyer and human rights activist recognized for his dedication to fighting for equality, education and human rights for the Rohingya people in Myanmar.
RAU Rector Professor Armen Darbinyan greeted the guests of the event, “It is my special pleasure to welcome the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate at RAU. We are honored to host this special event - conversation with Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung”.
In his speech, Mr. Kyaw Hla Aung told the extremely overwhelming and at times shocking story of his fight for the rights of the Rohingya people in the efforts to achieve an adequate, lawful attitude from the government, revealing the harsh conditions, racial and religious discrimination, political persecution of his nation - the Rohingya people - in Myanmar.
Being the only lawyer in the local area, for years he has been working relentlessly to help protect and educate his people. He was arrested and imprisoned multiple times for standing up for the Rohingya people, but nevertheless he carried on. He said that the authorities of Myanmar would be happy to see him gone, but he has no intention to flee the country, despite his IDP status (internally displaced person).
Speaking about the Aurora award, he highlighted that with its help he will continue to work towards improving educational opportunities for the youth and the elderly, “It is of supreme importance to educate the Rohingya children, because in order for the Rohingya community to survive, they need to know who they are, they need to know their rights”.
As the 2018 Aurora Prize Laureate, Kyaw Hla Aung received a $100,000 grant and the opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by donating the accompanying $1,000,000 award to organizations of his choice. He will donate the award to three international organizations that provide medical aid and assistance to refugees in Myanmar:
- Médecins Sans Frontières (London)
- Malaysian Medical Relief - MERCY Malaysia (Malaysia)
- International Catholic Migration Commission – ICMC (Switzerland, USA).
The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is a global humanitarian award established to recognize modern day heroes and the exceptional impact their actions have made on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes in the face of adversity. On behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate is being honored each year between 2015 and 2023 (in remembrance of the eight years of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1923) with a US$100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work for a US$1,000,000 award.
Watch the live stream from the event: