Myanmar/Burma: Freedom of expression in transition | Index on Censorship

29 July 2013

The third section of Index on Censorship’s report, ‘Freedom of expression in transition’, is about artistic freedom of expression and censorship within literature, comedy, visual art, performance art, music, and film in Burma. The report is written by Mike Harris, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship, and was published …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Corporate censorship is gaining control

22 April 2013

Thangyat is a traditional form of entertainment performed for the New Year Thingyan Water Festival in Burma / Myanmar which takes place this week. Thangyat was banned by the military government after the uprising in 1988 but was kept alive in exile before being allowed back last year. But corporate …

Read More »

Burma/Myanmar: Greetings from Win Maw

14 December 2012

Opening the session ‘BURMA: BEAUTY UNDER PRESSURE’, moderator Frances Harrison introduced the Burmese musician Win Maw with these words: “Burma, a country that is on the brink of change. But just how fragile that change is, is under evidence today, because of our third speaker, Win Maw. He has been …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Musician Win Maw released

13 January 2012

Win Maw, one of Burma’s most famous musicians, has been released. According to Democratic Voice of Burma, he was released at 13:40pm local time from Kyaukphyu prison in Arakan state. Freemuse has campaigned for his release for several years and last year he succeeded smuggling new songs out of the …

Read More »

Myanmar / Burma: Darko C

13 January 2012

  Censorship boundaries in Burma unclear and unpredictable As authorities in Burma are loosening censorship controls over media and the arts, musicians in Rangoon are excited by their newfound freedom. But they remain unsure of the new limits, reported Voice of America on 12 January 2012. “They have reduced the …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Zayar Thaw barred from singing at a live concert

8 August 2011

Zayar Thaw, a famous hip hop singer who was released from prison under an amnesty in May after serving three and a half years of a five-year sentence for his political activities, was barred by Mingla Taung Nyunt township authorities from singing at a live concert in Rangoon, reported The …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Interviews with rapper Thaw after his release from prison

27 May 2011

The Burmese rapper Zayar Thaw is ‘hot news’ after he was released from prison. Two exiled Burmese news agencies have published interviews with him, republished below with their kind permission. Irrawaddy reporter Ko Htwe spoke to Zayar Thaw shortly after his release and discussed his life as a political prisoner …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: New Win Maw songs smuggled out of Burma

16 February 2011

The singer and human rights activist Win Maw has been imprisoned in Burma since 2008. Nevertheless, he continues his struggle for freedom of expression from the prison. In February 2011, Freemuse received three new songs from him. Win Maw doesn’t give up that easily. On 5 March 2009 he was …

Read More »

Burma / Myanmar: Generation Wave

11 February 2011

Generation Wave speak about freedom of expression in Burma   Freemuse interview with four members of Generation Wave — a group which is part of an underground political network both inside and outside Burma. 21 members of the group are presently held as political prisoners in Burma.   Generation Wave …

Read More »

Generation Wave speak about freedom of expression in Burma/Myanmar

5 November 2010

  Freemuse interview with four members of Generation Wave — a group which is part of an underground political network both inside and outside Burma. 21 members of the group are presently held as political prisoners in Burma.   Generation Wave use hip-hop music as an integrated part of their …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Freemuse in joint campaign for imprisoned comedian

25 August 2010

The Free Zarganar Campaign, which advocates for the immediate release of Burmese comedian Zarganar, urges MEP’s to nominate Zarganar for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Price. The Free Zarganar Campaign, was launched by a coalition of human rights and freedom of expression organisations, including Freemuse, following his arrest in 2008. The goal is …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Music a vehicle for significant dissent

26 April 2010

Nine out of 12 songs on Thxa Soe’s most recent album were banned by Burma’s censorship board. How 29-year-old Thxa Soe — one of Burma’s leading hip-hop stars — and the underground group Generation Wave challenge the restrictions of the ruling military junta is described by journalist Jack Davies in …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Exiled musicians publish album of protest songs

19 April 2010

A new album of satire, poetry and music produced by Burmese activists living in exile in India is aired around the world, smuggled into Burma and can even be heard secretly on radios there. In songs and verse, singers and poets attack mismanagement of the country’seconomy, human rights abuses and …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Hip hop musician’s third year in prison

7 April 2010

The magazine The Irrawaddy reminds us about an imprisoned musician, Burma’s popular hip hop artist Zayar Thaw, who is serving his third year under detention in a prison at Kawthaung. As well as being a musician, Zayar Thaw is also a social activist who has used his music to raise …

Read More »


7 April 2010

Sorted alphabetical by author’s first name: Somalia: Music ban on radio stations was expected On 3 April 2010, the commander for Hisbul Islam in Mogadishu issued a 10-day ultimatum to radio stations to stop broadcasting music or face Sharia-based penalties By Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays 07 April 2010 Somalia: Music suppressor …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Ban on Western musical instruments

6 January 2010

  Burma’s Ministry of Culture has ordered the country’s traditional Saing orchestras not to use Western musical instruments — a move likely to reduce the popularity of many of the groups. The new regulations were reported by the Rangoon journal The Voice, which said they had been issued to the …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Two musicians arrested, another released after torture

16 November 2009

Singer Nyi Paing and songwriter Min Satta have reportedly been arrested by Burmese authorities’ Special Branch. Another report says the singer Htoo Htoo Chay who was arrested in September has been released from prison after being tortured. “We got confirmation that 41 people were arrested in October, but we don’t …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Hip-hop artist released from prison

12 January 2009

On 6 January 2009, the Burmese military junta authorities released popular hip-hop singer Yan Yan Chan, who was arrested in April 2008, reported Mizzima News. The popular singer was released on Tuesday evening by the western district court in the notorious Insein prison in Rangoon after the judge during the …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Hip-hop performer sentenced to six years in prison

20 November 2008

27-year-old performer sentenced to six years in prison   One of the most popular performers on Burma’s music scene, hip-hop star Zayar Thaw, was sentenced to six years imprisonment by a Rangoon court on 20 November 2008 for his involvement in anti-regime protests, reported The Irrawaddy.   Zayar Thaw (also …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Musican Win Maw sentenced to six years in prison

14 November 2008

Musician Win Maw received a sentence of six years imprisonment by a closed court in Rangoon’s Insein Prison on 11 November 2008, relatives reported The 46-year-old guitarist Ko Win Maw was convicted for “sending false news abroad”, even though it wasn’t false, and there wasn’t any evidence against him to …

Read More »

Film med Freemuse Award modtager vises i K

22 September 2008

Burma / China / Côte d’Ivoire Tiken Jah Fakoly, som modtog Freemuse Award 2008, er en af hovedpersonerne i en ny dokumentarfilm, ‘An Independent Mind’ — som handler om ytringsfrihed og om hvor langt mennesker i forskellige lande er parat til at g

Read More »

China/Cote d’Ivoire/Myanmar/Burma: ‘An Independent Mind’

22 September 2008

Film with Freemuse Award winner Tiken Jah Fakoly, who received the Freemuse Award 2008, is one of the main characters in a new documentary film, ‘An Independent Mind’ — about freedom of speech and how far individuals in different countries will go in order to preserve it. The 90-minutes film …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Interview with exiled musician Mun Awng

1 July 2008

Living with censorship in Burma (Myanmar): ‘Nobody will know you anymore’ Musician Mun Awng left Burma to be able to make music free of censorship and in hope of improving the political situation in his country. He started his musical career in the 1980s while studying in Rangoon, but being …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Musician Win Maw arrested

15 May 2008

The following article was transmitted by International PEN’s Rapid Action Network on 15 May 2008 The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN is gravely concerned for the well-being of leading Burmese musician Win Maw, who was arrested on 27 November 2007 and is said to be seriously ill as a result …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Musicians are being arrested

30 April 2008

Two members of the controversial Burmese hip-hop group Acid have recently been arrested, possibly because of lyrics in some of their songs referring to the lack of press freedom in the country. Artists in Burma have had a hard time since the September 2007 demonstrations. In November 2007 the lead …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Flow of secret music files

27 September 2007

While demonstrations, arrests and killings take place in Rangoon, and online media networks, websites and weblogs in Burma have been blocked, exiled Burmese musicians have quickly developed alternative communication channels, and their music, as well as video footage, is being smuggled across borders and distributed secretly within Burma via the …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Music under siege

28 October 2005

Music has provided a rallying point for the masses during political upheavals in Burma, just as it has elsewhere in South-East Asia. It has served as a potent response to the rapid political and social displacements brought on by neocolonialism, industrialization and dictatorship.By Aung Zaw       Music has …

Read More »

Aung Zaw: Music censorship in Myanmar / Burma

26 October 2004

Aung Zaw, journalist, member of the Freemuse Executive Committee Aung Zaw is from Myanmar/Burma and is the editor of The Irrawaddy, a magazine published in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Irrawaddy covers news and offers in-depth analysis of political and cultural affairs in Burma and Asia generally. This interview was conducted by Freemuse’s …

Read More »

Myanmar/Burma: Conscripted for Karaoke

14 June 2004

  Promoting the Burmese governments National Convention, three famous singers; Khin Maung Toe, Ringo and Htun Aeindrabo are singing a jingle on Myanmar TV—but something is not right. Expressionless, the three gaze at their scripts and sing blankly, even though the song is short and repetitive. The singing zombie trio …

Read More »

Myanmar (former Burma)

2 January 2000

Myanmar/Burma: ‘Will censorship of music end?’ asks BBC reporter in Rangoon BBC News’ Jonah Fisher has interviewed Ye Ngwe Soe, lead-singer of the punk band No U Turn, one of the best-known acts on the Rangoon punk scene. 13 April 2012   Myanmar/Burma: Musician Win Maw released Win Maw, one …

Read More »
Home / News