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Exiled comedians return home

Four out of seven members of the Thee Lay Thee [Four Fruits] Technicolor Dance/Comedian troupe, which was formed by renowned comedian and director Zaganar, arrived back in Burma from Thailand on Sunday after nearly four years in exile.

The four; comedian Godzilla, Sein Thee and Zee Thee, and lead dancer Chaw Su Myo, landed back in Rangoon at 17:50 Burmese time and were greeted by relatives and journalists at Rangoon International Airport.

Godzilla said the four decided to return home after President Thein Sein made his remarks last month calling back Burmese nationals exiled abroad.

“We respect and welcome the President Thein Sein’s offer for Burmese nationals living abroad to return home to join work for the country and the people so we decided to make our return,” said Godzilla.

Zaganar, the founder of the group, is currently serving a lengthy prison term in remote Myitkyina prison in northern Burma.

“We have seen tangible steps forward by the new government and believe the political prisoners will be released not very long from now. We would like to have things ready when Ko Zaganar walks free,” he said.

When asked if he believed whether they would have a freedom to perform after returning to Burma, he said: “We believe so. We only hoped for the positive and never think about the impossible.”

Meanwhile, the remaining three troupe members in Chiang Mai; comedians Pan Thee, Kyal Thee and dancer Mya Sabai Ngon said they would rather; “their mentor Zaganar were able to welcome them upon their return to Burma.”

The Thee Lay Thee gained public recognition after a performance in Rangoon shortly after September 2007’s protests, which became known as the ‘Saffron revolution’. Their notoriety lead to concerns about their safety as the subject matter of their comedy appeared critical of the military government responsible for brutally crushing the monk lead protests.

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