Thee Lay Thee stage benefit performances in Thailand

May 13, 2008 (DVB), Performance troupe Thee Lay Thee are putting on traditional anyeint benefit performances in Thailand to raise money for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma.

Comedian Sein Thee, a member of the troupe, said they wanted to do what they could to raise funds and send them into Burma.

"We are raising funds for people who were hit by the storm in Burma and showing solidarity with them," Sein Thee said.

"We are currently putting on an anyeint performance in the evenings to raise money. There is no set ticket price, you can give as much as you like," he went on.

"We will send all the money to the storm victims."

Sein Thee said there had been a good response from both Thai and Burmese people, and the group had received two carloads of clothes from garment factories in Thailand.

"We used to think differently. We thought the Thai people were indifferent to our suffering," he said.

"Now we know that whether they are Thai or Burmese and whatever their class, they all have charity in their hearts."

Sein Thee said he had been overwhelmed by the generosity of people who were themselves suffering hardships.

"Some people had just come from Burma and hadn't yet received any salary, but they gave all the money they had," he said.

"One man brought bed sheets and mosquito nets only yesterday, saying, 'I have no money, so I will give you these bed sheets and mosquito nets. I have no mosquito net, but I can let myself be bitten by mosquitoes. I can buy them again'."

"My tears were flowing. When those Burmese people who have no money come here and do this kind of thing, I feel sadder."

Sein Thee criticised the authorities for holding on to aid meant for the people, calling their behaviour "inhumane", and said they intended to use the relief supplies as a bargaining tool to persuade people to support the national referendum.

"It reminds me of the historical drama Hintha Kosaung, in which people kill their own people, their own blood. Now, we are not quarrelling with strangers, we have to fight our own people," he said.

"I saw on TV yesterday, three or four packages were thrown from a car and below, tens of thousands of people were waiting and scrambling on them. That is not good."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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