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Media Watch Group Condemns Censorship of Burmese Comedian's Performance


Reporters Without Borders has condemned the censorship of a Burmese comedian named Thura, who has been banned from performing in his homeland because of an interview he gave to foreign media.

The media-rights organization said Burma uses every possible means to restrict freedom of expression. It called on Burma to lift the ban and stop censoring Thura's work.

Thura, also known by his stage name Zarganar, says a government official Sunday ordered him to stop performing because of a recent BBC interview in which he discussed government regulation of a Buddhist New Year celebration.

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

Thura told the VOA Burmese service that Burma's Ministry of Industry created the commercial.

He added it was never broadcast. Thura became famous in Burma in the 1980s for his jokes about the country's political, economic and social problems.

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