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November 12, 2019

Monywa and I

It has been a little over a year since I visited Monywa. This time, I was invited by U Aung Kyi, Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), to talk at a seminar on combating corruption. And so, I made my up to Monywa via Mandalay.
I have a keen interest in countering corruption. I have studied it from a young age. It was during my time at the United Nations that I discovered this was a critical matter. It was a mandatory process that could not be compromised.
When I returned to Myanmar, I urged Transparency International to proliferate the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) among the public. A person can tell the standard a country maintains by glancing at its CPI rank.
The ACC took care of everything for my trip to Monywa. I took an early flight to Mandalay. I was greeted at TadaU Airport by some officials and got on the car prepared for the trip to Monywa. The event held there had the topic ‘Building Integrity in the National and Private Sectors’.

Whistleblowing
I tried to prepare something different in Monywa from my previous occasions. The main topic would focus on the concept of whistleblowing. Most people associate it with sports as in when the referee blows into his whistle and assigns a yellow card or red card to the offending player. Something else to note is that the referee also has to blow the whistle to signal a successful goal.
But the whistleblowing I am referring to is when an employee of either a government department or business entity decides to uncover shady or immoral activities in their organization.
Whistleblowing breaks the silence and is often difficult for a normal employee to do. Most of the time, they decide to keep mum. Staying still will not harm you.
But the employees and civil servants are the first people to know of something wrong in the organization, and indeed, the whole story. Choosing to stay silent or ignore the error is the same as being an accomplice, albeit indirectly. I talked about the need to provide protection and legal aid for whistle-blowers.
As the event was attended by the ACC Chairman, the event saw people of high rank such as members of the regional cabinet, Hluttaw representatives, businesspeople, department heads, and members of civil society organizations. It was quite productive.
Currently, the United States is facing some serious consequences of whistleblowing directed at none other than its President. His inappropriate actions have been forwarded to Congress. The US House of Representatives is currently debating impeachment and the whistle-blower, or more, is given full protection.
As soon as I finished my lecture, I asked ACC Chairman U Aung Kyi permission to excuse myself and made my way to Monywa University of Economics. Classes were closed, but the university was full of postgraduates and teachers who have been invited. I presented on leadership development for people taking care of the education sector and answered to questions from the audience. Translated by Pen Dali

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