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Burma: Myanmar Monk Congratulates Cuba Blogger Yoani Sánchez

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By Ashin Mettacara

I have two news with sadness and happiness: Burma's judical crackdown news and International Awards news. I congratulated yesterday Burma's Comedian Zarganar on his award. Also, I have to say congratulation to Yoani Sánchez today. Because she was honored Jury Prize for Best Blog(Best Blog of 2008) by the jury for the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards( known as The BOBs). My blog was also nominated, not reached to finalist. But I voted Yoani Sánchez and Zeng Jinyan. Now they are the winners . I am very happy for them.

Yoani Sánchez is a well-known Cuba blogger. She is able to publish the blog despite censorship in Cuba by e-mailing entries to friends outside the country, who then put them online. Sánchez was awarded the Premio Ortega y Gasset de Periodismo (Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award) in Spain but was not allowed to travel to Madrid to receive the prize in person. In 2008, Time magazine considered Sánchez as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

In her recent email to me, " Hello, Metta:
Thank you very much for your feelings to my work, and also for voting
for it. It is an honor for me that a Buddhist monk could identify my
fight with his fight.
My access to internet is extremely complicated, but I will try to visit your blog.
Greetings from Cuba.

The BOBs' jury said that Sanchez gives voice to an entire generation of Cubans and provides the world with a window into Cuba through her clear and poetic writing.
In addition to a slew of other obstacles in her way, Sanchez can't even post her own entries to the blog. Instead she is forced to e-mail them to friends outside of Cuba in order for her words to go online. Despite the challenges she has to overcome, she's managed to keep in contact with her readers and create a huge international community around her work.

Zeng Jinyan, the wife of an imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia was also given Reporters Without Borders award.

The BOBs – Best of the Blogs - is the world's largest international Weblog competition. Founded and sponsored by Deutsche Welle, the German International Broadcasting Service, the BOBs are now in their fourth year. The competition kicks off each year in the beginning of September and ends with a public award ceremony each November in Berlin.

Through the BOBs, Deutsche Welle focuses attention on the promotion of freedom of information and the press around the world. In cooperation with Reporters Without Borders, Deutsche Welle has presented a special award to Bloggers promoting these specific ideals since 2005.

Congratulation to Yoani Sánchez !

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Ashin Mettacara is a 27-year-old Buddhist monk from Burma who is blogging and contributing with the aim of spreading news to the whole world about the crisis in Burma. He is not part of any political group, association or organization. He is (more...)
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