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Zayar Thaw is confirmed dead at the age of 41.

And then the end came swiftly for Zayar Thaw. So damn sad.
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Zayar was best known as a Burmese politician and rapper.
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Zayar Thaw
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Zayar Thaw
Zeya Thaw.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
1 February 2016 – 1 February 2021
Preceded bySandar Min
ConstituencyZabuthiri Township
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
2 May 2012 – 29 January 2016
Preceded byTin Aung Myint Oo
Succeeded byTun Thit
ConstituencyPobbathiri Township
Personal details
Born(1981-03-26)26 March 1981
Rangoon, Myanmar
DiedJuly 23, 2022(2022-07-23) (aged 41)
Rangoon, Myanmar
Political partyNational League for Democracy
Parent(s)Mya Thaw (father)
Khin Win May (mother)
Alma materBEHS No. 6 Botahtaung
Yadanabon University
Zayar Thaw (Burmese: ဇေယျာသော် , also spelled U Phyo Zayar Thaw or Zeya Thaw, 26 March 1981 - 23 July 2022) was a Burmese politician and former hip-hop artist who was detained for the perceived anti-government messages of his lyrics. Amnesty International named him a prisoner of conscience. He was a member of Pyithu Hluttaw, the Lower House of the Burmese parliament. He, along with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, were elected to the lower house on 1 April 2012. In November 2021 he was arrested by the Myanmar military junta and was sentenced to death in January 2022. In June 2022 the junta announced that his execution was imminent.
1 Early life and education
2 Hip hop career
3 Generation Wave activism and arrest
4 Trial and imprisonment
5 Release and political career
6 References
Early life and education
Zeya Thaw was born on 26 March 1981 in Yangon, Myanmar to parent Mya Thaw, a former rector and his wife Khin Win May, a dental doctor. He attended high school at BEHS No. 6 Botahtaung. He enrolled at the University of Pharmacy, Mandalay in 1999 and then switched to distance education at the Yadanabon University in 2000 and graduated with B.A (English) in 2003.
Hip hop career
In 2000, Zayar Thaw's band Acid released Burma's first hip-hop album. Despite predictions of failure by many in the Burmese music industry, the album, Beginning, remained in the number one position of the Burmese charts for more than two months. A Democratic Voice of Burma reporter described his music as blending a "combative, angry style with indigenous poeticism". The band's repertoire has been said to contain many "thinly veiled attacks on the regime". The Independent stated that while the band "focused on the mundane, their lyrics inevitably touched on the hardships of life in Burma, drawing them into dangerous territory."
Zayar Thaw also became known early on for his social activism. At one concert, he teamed with poets Saw Wai and Aung Way to raise money for a charity for HIV-positive orphans founded by the comedian Zarganar. Along with fellow rapper Nge Nge, Zayar Thaw also visited Zarganar's orphanages to help teach English to the children.
Generation Wave activism and arrest
Zayar Thaw is one of four founding members of Generation Wave, a youth movement opposed to the State Peace and Development Council, Burma's military rulers. The group was founded on 9 October 2007, following the anti-government protests popularly known as the Saffron Revolution, and used graffiti and pamphlets to spread pro-democracy messages. Zayar Thaw reportedly developed one of the group's more widespread campaigns, bumper stickers reading "Change New Government" to apply to cars carrying "CNG" stickers (for "compressed natural gas"). The group also circulated anti-government films, including Rambo, in which the titular character battles Tatmadaw (Burmese military) soldiers in Karen State. The film had been banned by the government for portraying the SPDC and its soldiers in a negative light.
As of February 2010, about thirty members of the group had been imprisoned, including Zayar Thaw, who was arrested at a Yangon restaurant with friends on 12 March 2008. In April, Zayar Thaw's Acid co-founder Yan Yan Chan was also arrested.
Trial and imprisonment
Zayar Thaw was allegedly beaten during his interrogation. On 20 November 2008, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for breaking State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No. 6/88, "illegal organizing under the Unlawful Association Act". Amnesty International described this statute as "a vaguely worded law whose sweeping provisions can be interpreted as making it illegal to set up any kind of organization". He was given an additional year's imprisonment for possession of foreign currency, as he had been carrying approximately $20 USD in Thai baht, Singapore dollars, and Malaysian ringgit at the time of his arrest.
In December 2011, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Zayar Thaw, along with other civil society representatives. (Clicking on a person's face will take you to an article about the person.)
Before his sentencing, Zayar Thaw told reporters, "I feel sad, but not because of my imprisonment... I feel sad for the future of our country and people when I think about these facts. These words come from my heart. I wish to say to people, 'Have the courage to reject the things you don’t like, and even if you don’t dare to openly support the right thing, don’t support the wrong thing.' " His sentence was condemned by Amnesty International, who named him a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate release.
Release and political career
Zeyar Thaw giving speech to people during 2021 anti-coup d'état protests.
He served his sentence at Kawthaung prison and was released on 17 May 2011. In August 2011, Zayar Thaw was banned by the Mingala Taungnyunt Township Police Station from performing at a stage show on Kandawgyi Lake's Hmyawzin Island.
He is a member of the National League for Democracy. In the 2012 Myanmar by-elections, he contested the Pobbathiri Township constituency for a seat in the House of Representatives, the country's lower house, and won the seat that Tin Aung Myint Oo vacated in 2011.
In the 2015 Myanmar general election, he contested the Zabuthiri Township constituency and won a House of Representatives seat.
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