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Burmese fans of singer-songwriter Moon Aung will have to wait to hear the rebel musician in concert after his application for a visa was rejected by the Burmese embassy in Bangkok.
“I won’t be able to play in front of a Burmese audience yet,” he told DVB on Tuesday. “I hoped in my heart that I could go back home, but not yet. Maybe one day. Everything is changing. Nothing is eternal. The change will come.”
Moon Aung, who holds a Norwegian passport, became famous in his home country after he joined the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) at the Thai border following the 1988 uprising.
Renowned for his revolutionary songs, “Battle for Peace”, “Way to Freedom” and “Tempest of Blood”, Moon Aung’s melodies were popular among freedom fighters, activists and students, even though they were illegal in Burma.
Moon Aung has recently released a new album, “Peace Raindrops”, which he said he wants to distribute legally in his homeland.
He said he also nurtures a plan to play a charity concert for the benefit of Kachin refugees.
Ko Ye Lwin, a guitarist from “Flower of the Road”, a band which is on tour around the county collecting donations for refugees, said even if his visa were granted, he doubted that Moon Aung would be permitted by Burmese authorities to play live.
“He joined the armed struggle in the jungle,” said Ko Ye Lwin. “However, he was never keen on holding a gun. Instead he fought back with his music.”
Though President Thein Sein has said that exiled Burmese with no criminal record can return home, several Burmese have seen requests for visas rejected.
Moon Aung said that the embassy staff in Bangkok told him his application was denied because of (a) documentation; and (b) instructions from a senior official.