Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Passports seized; Burmese performers postpone Japan trip

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A traditional light dance troupe, known as ‘Ahnyeint’ in Burmese, led by popular comedian ‘Myatta’ were forced to postpone their visit to Japan after their passports were seized at the airport.

The ‘Tokyo Sakura Happy Ahnyeint’, who are scheduled to perform in Tokyo, have to postpone their trip as officials seized their passports when they arrived at the Minglardon International airport in Rangoon for departure on January 22.

“We are not sure when we can rescheduled for the performance. We have not yet cancelled the show and tickets can be refunded at the ticket counters where they have bought,” an organizer in Japan told Mizzima.

The group obtained visas from the Japanese embassy in Rangoon but the Immigration Department authorities seized their passports while they were filling up their ‘Departure Form’ (D Form) at the airport, Myatta said.

“We were taken to their office and told that they had to seize our passports as our visit to Japan was deemed unfit. We said that we would only go if authorities permit us, and would not go if they think it is not good,” he added.

But a lead comedian for the ‘Thee Lay Thee’ Ahnyeint troupe, Godzilla, who is in exiled, thinks that the government had purposely blocked Myatta’s troupe as they are afraid of being criticized by the comedians during the performance.

“The comedians are the voice of the common people. The government is afraid that these comedians would reveal their ugly faces,” he added.

‘Ahnyeint’ combines dances and performances including songs and dramas or short skids by a group of people, known as comedians or ‘clowns’, who also uses satirical dialogues that often mocks at government administration systems.

Organizers said it took them nearly a year to arrange for the performance and pledged that they would strive to make it happen but said they are sorry to their audiences for the current inconveniences.

With Japanese translation arranged, audiences including Japanese are keenly awaiting for the performance. A ticket for the show is being sold out at Yen 4,500, organisers said. 


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