Conflicts & War

Artists render ‘We are the World’ to inspire pro-democracy groups in Myanmar

By Sangzuala Hmar

Aizawl, India, Feb 21 (EFE).- As the military junta tightens its grasp on power in Myanmar, plunged into a spiral of violence two years after the coup, artists from India and Myanmar looked to inspire pro-democracy forces with a rendition of “We are the world”.

The 1985 smash-hit, originally composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, seen as a symbol of the power of music to help the most vulnerable sections, was the song of choice to draw the world’s attention to the Myanmar crisis.

“We are striving to make a political impact on the present political scenario of Myanmar. Moreover, we wanted the world to know the sordid tales of Myanmar and sufferings inflicted on the people by the Tatmadaw (the military),” Rosie Bawithapar, a Myanmar immigrant residing in the United States, told EFE.

Bawithapar, hailing from Myanmar’s Chin region and behind the ChinTube channel, said their rendition of “We are the world” was enthusiastically received and has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube since it was posted two weeks ago.

The coming together of singers from the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram and ethnic Chin artists from around the world, under the name Chinlung Chhuak Artist “seemed predestined,” she said.

India shares a 1,600-kilometer border with Myanmar. After the military coup, thousands of Burmese people fled to states such as Mizoram, where the local Mizo groups and Myanmar’s Chin group have traditional ties.

The artists seek to serve as a “catalyst” for the integration of different ethnic minority militia groups affiliated with the People’s Defense Forces, the armed wing of the self-proclaimed National Unity Government(NUG).

The NUG was born as a result of the uprising following the military coup that overthrew the democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and is made up of ousted politicians and pro-democracy activists opposed to the junta.

“We, the Chins are considered inferior and underdog amongst the ethnic clans of Myanmar, but we, with the help of our brethren in India wanted to prove that we can be the major force that can unite all the ethnic clans of Myanmar in the fight against our common enemy and in our goal to restore democracy in Myanmar,” said Dadeo Cer, a Burmese refugee in Mizoram, told EFE.

Earlier this month, the military junta extended Myanmar’s state of emergency since the coup. Experts say it controls one-fourth of the country.

Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 3,000 civilians and detained about 20,000 others, including the ousted leader Suu Kyi – who led the democratic transition from 2011 to 2021 -, according to the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

“We want to ask the world to help stop this war, stop dictatorship, (…) and help the people of Myanmar seek justice and democracy,” said the singer Elena HT Par before performing “We are the world.” EFE


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