People of 2006
covering burma and southeast asia
Thursday, December 13, 2018
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COVER STORY

People of 2006


By The Irrawaddy DECEMBER, 2006 - VOLUME 14 NO.12


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(Page 11 of 12)

Her regular rate is US $60 per session, and her growing popularity suggests that a wealthy future lies ahead.

ET suffers from several disabilities, including a speech impediment that makes her virtually incomprehensible and in need of her sister to translate the profound prognostications that have gained greater currency in recent months outside Burma.

ET’s predictions about short-term events—occurring within a year or less from the consultation—and her reading of banknotes in her client’s wallets are said to be very accurate. What also seems certain is that ET will have no lack of clients—and no shortage of banknotes—in the coming years.

San Zarni Bo is a well-known Rangoon-based astrologer who received the 20th Century Achievement Award from the International Biographical Center and the 1997 Man of the Year award from Cambridge University


 Artists and Entertainers

Win Win Latt (1951-2006)

Compassionate storyteller

Win Win Latt (Dr Win Win Shein) was one of many well-known medical doctors-turned-writers in Burma. She began her literary career as a short story writer in the early 1970s and published hundreds of stories in Burmese magazines. But what readers loved most were her novels.

Reviewers praised her simple narrative style and the lack of “isms” in her work. She filled an important space during a period when the country lacked fine novelists.

In 1997, her novel The Subsequent Pages of Love, which portrayed the life of a divorced doctor, won Burma’s National Literary Prize.

In addition to writing, Win Win Latt was committed to humanitarian issues, particularly HIV/AIDS, and lectured inside prisons. She died in a car accident in May shortly after giving a talk on HIV/AIDS to inmates of Insein Prison.

—Khin Maung Soe


Htein Lin

Building bridges between art and life

By Chaw Ei Thein

Htein Lin is a pioneer of performance art in Burma, one of the vanguards of young artists who project themselves into their work and try to bridge the divide between art and life. “I am not a painter,” he says. “I am a painting.”

Htein Lin became interested in art as a student at Rangoon University in the mid-1980s, but his devotion to the subject grew out of a meeting with exiled Burmese artist Sit Nyein Aye in New Delhi, and his experiences in the mountains of India’s Manipur State with the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front.

He later moved to Burma’s northern Kachin State where he witnessed the notorious massacre of February 12, 1992, when 15 ABSDF soldiers were killed by comrades who suspected them of spying for the regime. The bloodshed and torture drove him to seek a means of expressing his thoughts about what he called “this horrific world.” He found it in what he calls “abstract expressionism.”

In Rangoon, Htein Lin began performing his art on street corners and in group exhibitions. He fell foul of the authorities, however, and in 1998, he was arrested on a charge of planning anti-government activities and served nearly seven years in prison.

Prison life only stimulated his creativity, and he organized clandestine performance art shows in prison. He also painted on the white cotton prison uniforms, using his fingers, cigarette lighters, syringes and whatever other materials were at hand. After his release in 2004, he exhibited examples of his prison art.

Htein Lin’s life proves that political events can inspire art and can even totally absorb the artist. “An artist will be changed by his own experiences,” Htein Lin says. “So he becomes the painting, and no longer the painter.”

Chaw Ei Thein, a surrealist and performance artist, lives in Rangoon


Sone Thin Par

Burma’s ‘musical treasure’

This talented young ethnic Chin singer earned wide acceptance from Burmese audiences in 2006. Her name—given to her by her grandmother—translates as “treasured flower,” and that’s how many in her growing fan base see this rising star.

A devout Christian, Sone Thin Par honed her skills singing hymns in church. She first attracted attention in 1998 and has since released three solo albums and appeared on numerous compilations. The 25-year-old singer has also performed for Burmese communities in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and several Western countries.

Not all of Sone Thin Par’s publicity at home has been good.



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