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Burmese Artists Find Outlets in Exile - 2002-12-23


The military government of Burma continues to restrict artists' freedom of thought and expression, forcing many talented poets and musicians to flee the country.

Dozens are jailed for expressing their views. Exiled poet Nay Zaw Naing said that nothing can be published without approval by the government's Scrutiny Board. He now lives in Thailand.

Poet Nay Zaw Naing added that the government has no clear policy on the arts, depending on its generals to interperet the law. Another poet-in-exile, Tin Moe, said that the Scrutiny Board exists on bribery and corruption, which he found despicable.

Tin Moe languished in jail for writing a poem in praise of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Moon Aung, a popular singer whose lyrics were scrutinized in detail, left Burma for Oslo frustrated by determined to promote human rights in Burma by entertaining in Europe.

Pyit-taing-htaung, a former assistant with the national band, was forced to video tape anti-Aung San Suu Kyi music. He also left Burma out of frustration.

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