Political artist and hip hop singer Zay Yar Thaw forbidden to perform in charity show

Source: Mizzima News

A political hip hop artist who has been recently released from a jail sentence was banned from performing in a charity event in Rangoon. The artist, Zay Yar Thaw was one of the founders of Generation Wave, an underground youth group spreading pro-democracy messages using visual art and hip hop songs.

The charity event featuring a live concert is to raise fund for a home for the sick and elderly people who are without family members in Rangoon. The home, Seesaryait (Sunset Shelter), is managed by writer Than Myint Aung, who is also the secretary of the Free Funeral Service Society. The live concert is slated to be held on the islet of Hmyaw Sin Kyun on the Kandawgyi Lake this coming Saturday. According to Zay Yar Thaw, police from the Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township informed organizer Seesaryait, that it will revoke the permit for the event should he perform in it.

“The organizers said that police wil revoke the permit if I was in the show. The organizers replied that the music association had not imposed the ban and asked which organization imposed the ban. The police said that the ban came from superior authorities and they did not have the right to disclose the information,” Zay Yar Thaw told Mizzima.

“The government has declared that it is a democratic government so it has the responsibility to explain who has imposed a ban on me, and why.”

Zay Yar Thaw was arrested in 2008 for founding Generation Wave which was declared illegal, and for possessing foreign currency. He was sentenced to four years in prison and was released on May 17 under the presidential commutation. Most of its members were also arrested and jailed, including undergraduate students Aung Zay Phyo, Akar Bo and Thiha Win Tin.

Mizzima News (http://www.mizzima.com/) is a news organization headquartered in New Delhi, India, run by exiled Burmese journalists. A SEAPA partner, it aims to promote awareness about the situation in Burma and promote democracy and freedom of expression in the country.


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