Myanmar/Burma: Musical satire banned by authorities

30 November 2006
Authorities have banned a video compact disc depicting a traditional performance on the grounds that some of the content is critical of the military government, reports the news magazine The Irrawaddy

The video compact disc is entitled ‘Say Yaung Sone’, meaning “The Colorful”. It is produced by the director known as Godzilla.
(NB: Myanmar is still called Burma by bodies and states which do not recognize the ruling military junta, among which are The Irrawaddy).
The script for the performance had at first made it past the Press Scrutiny Review Board, but the subsequent release of the disc led authorities to ban it, allegedly because they found that some of the material on the disc was intentionally satirical towards the government. This was reported by an actor living in Rangoon (who requested that his name should not be used), interviewed by Shah Paung who writes for The Irrawaddy

The performance on ‘Say Yaung Sone’ the traditional Burmese style called Anyein. It is a form of entertainment that combines music, dance, opera and satirical comedy – a popular part of Burmese cultural life. In the last decade Anyein troupes have been prohibited from performing in public.

A source familiar with the film industry in Burma said that performances on the disc made reference to electricity shortages in the country, problems with public health assistance, Burma’s national football team and the news readers on Burma’s state-run MRTV network.




The Irrawaddy – 29 November 2006:
‘Junta Bans Comedy VCD’

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