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Burma

Popular Burmese Rap Performer Arrested


By MIN LWIN Friday, April 18, 2008


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Burmese authorities have arrested popular rap and hip-hop performer Yan Yan Chan in a continuing round-up of celebrities who support the pro-democracy movement.

A resident of Monywa Township in Upper Burma who knows Yan Yan well said he was arrested with a friend, Mie Mie, early Thursday. They were arrested at the house of a mutual friend in Monywa Township, the resident said.

Yan Yan Chan
Yan Yan Chan and three musicians founded Burma’s first hip-hop band, ACID in late 2000 and became very popular on the country’s music scene.

A singer who is a friend of Yan Yan Chan said the pop star had been under observation by the authorities since the arrest of his friend Zayar Thaw, another member of ACID, in late February. Zayar Thaw was sent to Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison.

Burmese authorities have become increasingly nervous about the activities of the country’s pop music community and Internet bloggers since the monk-led demonstrations of September 2007.

Musician Win Maw, leader of the Shwe Thansin group, was arrested last November 27 in a Rangoon teashop. He had already been sentenced to seven years imprisonment in 1997 for writing songs in support of Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In January this year, the authorities arrested one of Burma’s best known bloggers,
Nay Phone Latt, whose Internet sites were a major source of information about the protests and the regime’s brutal crackdown.

Nay Phone Latt, a youth member of the opposition National League for Democracy, owned the Explorer Internet café in Rangoon’s Papedan Township, the Heaven Internet café in Thingangyun Township and a third in the same suburb.

The authorities have also tried to break contacts between Burmese bloggers and the outside world by blocking and slowing down Internet transmission speeds.

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