Chris Bowen MP
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Affairs
Canberra ACT 2600
Date: 21 October 2010
Burmese Community’s Request should be revoked a Performance Visa to the Military Junta’s Artist Khant Si Thu if a visa already issued to perform at a Festival in Australia
1. We understand that culture is important to the development of a country and social values of its people. In that regard, artists can change the thinking of the people for either good or bad depending on the role they took in public life.
2. The above-mentioned artist gave the excuse that his role in making of the film, ‘Aharyone Oo-Hmar Phoo Thi Kyar’ (literally meaning The Budding of the Lotus at Dawn) was the result of him and other artists being coerced into it by the regime. The film was mainly a distortion of Burma’s history and the propaganda to mislead future generations. Whatever the reason, the artist’s complicity in the making of the film should not be taken lightly as a valid excuse.
3. It is all under the grand scheme of the military for its perpetuate rule in Burma. The regime not only has avoided Australian Government’s sanctions imposed on them and their families by issuing their children passports with false names in order to study in Australia. They are sending monks, Pastors, writers, singers and actors as their emissaries to win over the Burmese community living overseas. Their malicious scheme was exposed in the United States and the visas of the artists and his colleagues were revoked. (The press cutting of the matter is attached herewith for your information).
4. Since the visit of this group of artists sympathetic to the military is nothing but the source of division and instability among the Burmese community living overseas, we would like to request the Minister that a performing visa or a visa of any category should not be issued and if a visa of any kind has already issued, should be revoked in accordance with the Migration Act of Australia for future.
5. To our knowledge, the above-mentioned artist was invited to perform at the festival to be held at Marrickville Town Hall in Sydney.
88 Generation Students in Australia.
Contact: Soe Lwin 0412 387 263
Tin Myint 0412 908 322
Ni Tun 0414 218 129
Lin Aung 0412 016 350
Toe Toe 0402 438 145
Soe Soe Oo 0416 207 825
Nyi Nyi Soe 0430 494 928
Copy to: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Embassy of the United States, Canberra, Australia
US revoked Visas of Burmese Junta’s Artists
Moemaka Reporter 002, October 9, 2010.
US Immigration revoked performance visas issued to Ovation Burmese music band before the completion of the USA tour.
Among the 10 Burmese performers was actress Wyne Suu Khine Thein who performed in the Junta’s propaganda film (Lotus at Dawn – Ar Yon Oo Ma Poo Thi Kyar). The film disregarded the Burmese struggle for democracy in Burma and portrayed it as acts of anarchy and violence.
The tour began in August 2010 and encountered numerous protests by the Burmese community in the US. As a result, U Ei Tha Ri ya (the monk who sponsored the visas for the band) filed personally on 7th October to the US government that he was withdrawing his sponsorship.
Ko Nyi Nyi Aung, an active activist from the Burmese community in Washington DC Metro area, told Moemaka that the United State’s Immigration Service immediately revoked their P1 visas of all of the 10 Burmese from the band because the band had caused controversy among Burmese American Community due to its inclusion of the junta’s propaganda actress, and the its sponsorship by the Burmese monk had been withdrawn.
According to the immigration rules and regulation, all the band members lost their visitors’ status and are considered illegal visitors. It was learnt that not only they were to leave the country effective immediately but also they will be prohibited to enter the US for the foreseeable future. The list of revoked visas include: Soe Moe (Manager), Min Maw Kun (Actor), Ye Lay (Actor), Leonard Maung Maung Lwin (Musician), Petric Maylar (Musician), Ye Phone (Musician), Tutkey (Musician), Wyne Su Khaing Thein (Actress), L. Sai Zee (Singer) and Rebecca Win (Singer).
“Since from the beginning of their tour, there were many discussions made within Burmese community to avoid protests but they (the band and the their supporters) never backed down and continued their tour. Due to our political principle and belief, we had to protest them as the instruments of the Burmese junta. However we were not making any personal attacks to the members of the band. Finally it was due to the solidarity of Burmese American community, collective wisdom of the Burmese monks’ community and last but not the least the policy of the US government to impose political sanction on the Burmese regime and its accomplices, the matter came to the end peacefully and lawfully” said Ko Toe Lwin, one of the active activists and dissidents of NLD (LA) (an exile branch of Burmese opposition party of Burma, NLD led by Aung San Suu Kyi) now living in San Francisco Bay Area.
This is first time in 20 years after the Burmese regime bloody coup in Burma that the Burmese American community publicly denounced the Junta’s propaganda activity and its supporters, and resulted in the expulsion of the regime’s artists.