Friday, January 11, 2008

Youth arrested for singing political song - Sai Maung Tun

By Kwarn Lake
Shan Herald Agency for News

A Shan youth has been arrested by the Burmese authorities for singing a Shan song at the Shan New Year celebration in Mong Yai, northern Shan State, Burma, according to local sources.

Sai Maung Tun, 25, a member of Shan Literature and Cultural Committee (SLCC) – Mong Yai, was arrested after singing a Shan political song titled, 'The day Shans gain freedom', according to the sources.

The song written by the late song writer Sai Mu, is popular not only among Shan communities but also among the resistance groups.

He was arrested on January 7 by the local police from his home, said the source.

"He works in the farm to support his family and he has never had any connections with any political organizations and never talks about politics", said a resident of Mong Yai.

The SLCC had invited a local music band of four youth singers to entertain the Mong Yai residents during the New Year celebration.

Colonel Kyi Myint, a local authority, had also ordered his subordinates to arrest the band. However, he withdrew the order after receiving apology from the president of the SLCC, said the source.

Shan New Year in Mong Yai was celebrated from January 1 to 4, while the actual date of Shan New Year 2102 fell on December 10, 2007.

The Mong Yai Shan Literature and Cultural Committee had initially decided not to organize the celebrations due to lack of funds. However, the event took place because Col. Kyi Myint had ordered the SLCC to collect cash from local communities and organize it.

Meanwhile, the celebration of 60th anniversary of Independence Day was also ordered by the authorities to be held on the same days at Mong Yai high school.

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