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Kachin Manau festival to be televised live in Myitkyina

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - The annual Kachin Manau Festival marking the 63rd Kachin State Day will be broadcast live by the Yangon based Studio 35 Company, the organising committee said. 

MaNau-storyThe festival scheduled to be held in Manau Stadium in Myitkyina, Kachin State from January 7 to 11 will be broadcasted live to surrounding areas via five live-feed cameras.  

“Studio 35 will broadcast the festival live into areas up to 16 kilometres from the stadium”, the organising committee chairman Lakharilaaung told Mizzima.

The event is estimated to cost around 306 million kyat (US$306,000).

To date, the organising committee has received more than 400 million kyat (US$400,000) in donations from jade-mine owners in Hpakant, he said. 

Initial donations from junta crony companies, Max Myanmar, Htoo Trading, Yuzana and Asia World of 50 million kyat (US$50,000) lead the Hpakant Tactical Operation Commander to organise a fund raising committee to collect the remaining funds needed.

Burmese authorities have been more involved in organising the festival, than in previous years.

A 38 person management body for the Manau festival, led by junta military officers, had been set up in late 2010. Junta officials represented include Major General Soe Win, Lieutenant Colonel Thet Pone and Communications, Post and Telegraph Minister Thein Zaw.

Government and military involvement in the festival planning had left members of the Kachin Culture Central Committee feeling uneasy, according to one of its members.

“The junta organised the festival management committee themselves”, another member of the committee told Mizzima. “It won’t be the same as before”

“We don’t know exactly what (the authorities) plan to do exactly, so we are worried” they said.

In previous years, young Kachin security guards had been posted at the festival.

This year, official police guards Ko Ko Aung and Maran Zawraw planned to oversee security arrangements.

Although the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) participated in last year Manau Festival, it was barred from attending this years festival.

The famous Burmese rock band Iron Cross will entertain attendees on January 8 and 9, organisers said.

The Kachin State Day Manau festival, the most important annual cultural event for the ethnic minority, features a mass gathering of ethnic groups in costume for a celebration of music and dance. It has been held in Kachin state every year since 1948 when Burma achieved independence from British rule.

Historically staged to celebrate the generosity of tribal chieftains, the Kachin State Day Manau festival is now held to honor the progress, development & unity of the six Kachin tribes- the Lizu, Rawan, Lauwo, Lachit, Zaiwa and Jingpaw.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 January 2011 13:36 )  

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