Burma: Hip-hop singer Zay Yar Thaw forbidden to perform in charity show



Popular entertainer Zay Yar Thaw started Burma’s first hip-hop band. Photo: Mizzima

Generation Wave founder and hip-hop singer Zay Yar Thaw can’t sing in a show to raise funds for a home that cares for sick, elderly people who have no families in Rangoon.

A fundraising show featuring an array of popular entertainers will be held in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township on Saturday to come to the aid of the Seesaryait (Sunset Shelter) Home for the aged, which is managed by the writer Than Myint Aung, who is also the secretary of the Free Funeral Service Society.

The show will be held in Hmyaw Sin Kyun on Kandawgyi Lake at 3 p.m. on Saturday. After the show received a permit, the Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township Police Station summoned the show’s organizers to inform them that Zay Yar Thaw would not be allowed to play in the show.

A former political prisoner, Zay Yar Thaw told Mizzima, “The organizers said that police would 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.

“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 said.

The Seesaryait Home cares for 24 elderly people between age 70 and 90 who have no family to look after them.

“We have built a new building. We don’t have enough money. They are ill, so there is a big expense for their health. That’s why we need more funds,” Htar Htar, the joint secretary of Seesaryait Home, told Mizzima.

She said that the home also needs funds to expand the living area in two buildings.

The show will feature performers Acid, J Me, Yatha, Saung Oo Hlaing, Chit Kaung, Thar Htwe, She, Maykhalar, Sone Thin Par, Sandi Myint Lwin, BK (SME), Po Po (Little Pig), the Kya Pauk Big Bag music band, Idiots and Reason.

Zay Yar Thaw was arrested in 2008 for forming an unlawful organization (Generation Wave) and for possessing foreign currency. He was sentenced to four years in prison and was released on May 17 under the presidential commutation.

Hip-hop singer Zay Yar Thaw forbidden to perform in charity show.

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