10/16/2010 05:28 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mini Conference and Fund Raiser Being Held This Weekend to Address Burmese Human Rights Issues

While the successful rescue of the Peruvian miners offers heart and hope on the global stage, other regional crises continue. One such crisis often obscured by more spectacular events is the continuing human rights violations perpetrated by the military dictators running Burma. Called Mynamar by the regime that rejected a democratically elected government several years ago, more than 3,500 villages had been burned and 3.5 million people have been displaced as a result of forced displacement.

In order to raise awareness of this urgent human rights crisis in Burma, the Free Burma Alliance, with Amnesty International and Network 355, will hold a fundraiser on today, Saturday, October 16th, 2010, and an all-day conference on Sunday, October 17th, 2010.

The fundraiser will be held at the famed Friar's Club (57 East 55th St.) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm to get money to conduct critical cardiac surgeries for four Burmese children cared for by the Burma Children Medical Fund. The cost of each surgery is $5,000. If left untreated, the children - Shin Aw Ba Tha, Hell May Say, Surin, and Thant Zin Win - face critical illness or death. The semi-formal affair will feature an open bar, buffet-style dinner, live performances and a silent auction of celebrity items. Invited guest include notable celebrities, politicians, and philanthropists.

On Sunday, from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm, The FBA/Amnesty International Inaugural Conference will be held at the Liederkranz Foundation (6 East 87th St.), followed by a cocktail reception. Its agenda includes the screening of three films: Meh Sha by Hezekiah Lewis, This is My Witness by Nobel Women's Initiative and the Women's League of Burma, and Burma: An Indictment by Jeremy Taylor, as well as two panel discussions and Q&A sessions.

Scheduled panelists Thomas Van Dyke (Heroes Serving Humanity), Mac McClelland (author of For Us Surrender is Out of the Question), Roland Watson (Dictator Watch), Myint Soe (NLD-LA Secretary) and Nay Tin Myint (political prisoner for 15 years) will discuss strategies for expanded advocacy and activism concerning this on-going crisis.
Tickets for the two-day event range from $10 to $250 and can be purchased at: For more information on the fundraiser and conference contact Jeremy Taylor at 917-957-1540 or through