Jun 18, 2009

Taiwan: Concert for Burma Democracy Activists

Active ImageThe Taiwan Free Burma Network is holding a Free Burma Concert to raise awareness about the plight of the Burmese people.
Below is an article published by the Taipei Times:

The Taiwan Free Burma Network — an alliance of more than 100 groups supporting the democracy movement in Myanmar — will hold a Free Burma Concert tomorrow [19 June 2009] as part of an internationally coordinated campaign calling on Myanmar's military junta to release more than 2,000 political prisoners.

“This is the first time we will be holding a public Free Burma Concert at an outdoor location,” Tsai Ya-ju, an executive member of the group, told the Taipei Times. “In the past three years [since the first concert in Taiwan in 2006], we've always had the concert indoors.”

Free Burma Concerts in Taiwan are held annually on June 19, the birthday of Myanmar democracy pioneer Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The problem with holding indoor concerts was that we always attracted the same crowd — activists or people who already know about these freedom movements,” Tsai said. “This time, we want people who probably don't know much about the situation in Myanmar — students, kids, or ordinary moms and dads — to join us.”

Tsai said she believed music was the most effective way to get their message across.

Several bands — including Kou Chou Ching, StreetVoice, Indulge, Chang Tieh-chih  and Ko Chih-hao  — will perform at the concert.

“Through our music, we hope to encourage more people to find out what's going on in Myanmar,” said Fan Chiang, a member of the hip hop band Kou Chou Ching.

“I think supporting the Myanmar and Tibetan causes, as well as justice for Tiananmen Square Massacre victims, are equally important. People in Taiwan know more about the Tibetan movement, but not enough about the situation in Myanmar.”

Although most of Kou Chou Ching's works are about Taiwanese history, politics, national identity and social phenomena, Fan Chiang said there was still a connection between the band's music and Myanmar.

“For example, one of our songs, Civil Revolt, tells the story of uprisings in Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty rule because the government was too corrupt and repressive,” he said. “This is the same as in Myanmar.”

Other than enjoying the music, people are also invited to write notes to political prisoners in Myanmar or write postcards to the military junta calling for their release, Tsai said.

The concert will be held from 7pm to 9pm tomorrow [18 June 2009] at Yonghe City's Park No. 4 at the intersection of Jhongan and Yongjhen  roads near the Yongan Market MRT station.