FORT WAYNE, INDIANA— |
The 25th anniversary of the first Burmese refugees settling in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is especially sweet for Minn Myint Nan Tin. It coincides with her adopted city, now home to some 10,000 Burmese, becoming a Friendship City with Mawlamyine, the fourth largest city in Myanmar.
"For me it is a dream come true, especially I have a chance to have people who care about us and also the country I love both meet," said the co-founder of the Burmese Advocacy Center.
Minn was a key player in bringing the project to Fort Wayne, home to the largest Burmese population outside Myanmar. The Friendship City program falls under the umbrella of Sister Cities, but is a less formal arrangement.
Sister Cities officials in Fort Wayne felt the time was right to establish relations. Myanmar held a free and open election in November, and the National League for Democracy — led by Aung San Suu Kyi — swept to victory. It has just formed the country's first fully elected civilian government in half a century.
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