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This Happened

This Happened — September 27: NLD Founded In Myanmar

On this day in 1988, The National League for Democracy was funded in Yangon, Myanmar.

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How did the NLD come into existence?

In 1988, Myanmar's pro-democracy uprising, known as the 8888 Uprising, began. Citizens took to the streets to protest against the authoritarian rule of the military junta. A series of demonstrations and protests led to widespread calls for democratic reforms. The NLD was founded during the height of this pro-democracy uprising. It emerged as a platform for opposition to the military government and as a vehicle for advocating reforms. Many ordinary citizens, students, activists, and professionals contributed financially to the movement.

Were there any challenges or obstacles to funding the NLD in 1988?

Funding the NLD in 1988 was challenging due to the repressive nature of the military junta's rule. The government was suspicious of opposition groups and movements, including the NLD, and any financial support to such organizations could lead to persecution. Over the years, it has faced periods of repression, including arrests and detentions of its leaders, but has also participated in the country's democratic transition.

What role did Aung San Suu Kyi play in the NLD?

Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician and leader of the NLD. She is the daughter of Aung San, a Burmese independence hero. Aung San Suu Kyi gained international recognition for her nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar. She was placed under house arrest for a total of 15 years due to her activism and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Aung San Suu Kyi later led the NLD to victory in Myanmar's 2015 elections and became the State Counsellor, a position equivalent to the head of government.

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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