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Burmese Comedian Says Government Bans Him From Performing


A Burmese comedian says the military government has banned him from performing in the country because of an interview he gave to foreign media.

The comedian, named Thura, says a government official ordered him Sunday to stop performing indefinitely. He is better known in Burma by his stage name, Zarganar.

Zarganar says the official complained about an interview he gave to the BBC's Burmese service in April, when he discussed government regulations regarding the annual water festival to mark the Buddhist New Year.

The Burmese comedian says the government also accused him of creating a TV commercial that stated Taiwan is a country, which the government said could harm relations with China.

In an interview with VOA's Burmese service, Zarganar denied creating the commercial and said it was never broadcast. He said the commercial was instead created by Burma's Ministry of Industry.

Zarganar became famous in Burma in the 1980s for his jokes about the country's political, economic and social problems.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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