Mother of imprisoned comedian Zarganar dies

Mar 20, 2009 (DVB), The mother of renowned Burmese variety artist Zarganar, who was imprisoned for 35 years last November, died of cancer at her home in Rangoon today.

Kyi Oo was married to Aung Thein (also known as Nang Nyunt Swe), a popular writer and artist. She was 81. The couple had three children together: Thura (popularly known as Zarganar), Wunna, and Bala (also known as Tayza).

Zarganar was arrested on 4 June 2008 after coordinating a team of relief workers to help victims of cyclone Nargis.

This act, along with his support for monks during the September 2007 protests and his consistent satirising of the Burmese government, brought him a sentence of 59 years, later reduced to 35 years.

Zarganar’s brother, Wunna, was involved in the 1974 U Thant uprising. He eventually died from wounds received in prison.

They have three sons; Wunna, Bala (also known as Tayza, Nyi Nyi Kyaw) and Thura.

The oldest son Wunna was involved in 1974 U Thant uprising and severely tortured by the police until he went mad. He eventually died from the wounds he received in prison.

The youngest, Thura, popularly known as comedian Zargana, is languishing in Myikyina jail in northern Burma, serving a 35 years’ jail term which was reduced from 59 years.

He was arrested in June 2008 and sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment on 21 November under various charges including three offences under the Electronics Law, including the use of a mobile phone and email. It was extended to 59 years the following week.

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