The Irrawaddy News Magazine [Covering Burma and Southeast Asia]
Top German Band Devotes Song to Burma’s Democracy Movement
JULY, 2009 - VOLUME 17 NO.4

A TOP GERMAN BAND, The Durgas, played at celebrations in the Thai-Burmese border town of Mae Sot marking the 64th birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Well wishers packed the Mae Sot compound of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and applauded songs honoring the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. One of the numbers, “Face the Sun,” was written by The Durgas especially for the Burmese democracy movement, and there were tears in the audience as the group sang lines like “We know she loves and lives in freedom” and “Her voice gives hope to open ears.”

(Photo: AAPP)
It’s hoped that recordings of the song will find their way to Burma and send a message of support and hope to Suu Kyi and the pro-democracy movement.

“The song will be heard over the radio and Internet,” said AAPP joint secretary Bo Kyi. “It’s a very powerful song, telling us we must never give up.”

The concert also featured the first performance of a song, “Send the Wind,” dedicated by the lead singer Benjii to the AAPP. Bo Kyi joined the band in performing the number on stage.

Four former political prisoners also took the stage and performed a song written by a friend of theirs while they were in prison and which has become a favorite for Suu Kyi supporters inside Burma.

(Photo: AAPP)
The Durgas first came to Mae Sot in 2004 at the invitation of a Burmese musician who appeared with the group at a World Aids conference in Bangkok. The group was drawn to the work of the AAPP and played its first Mae Sot concert at the organization’s compound.

“We fully support the work of the AAPP and think it’s so important and amazing that political prisoners have an establishment where they can go after they have been in prison,” said Benjii.

“Playing at AAPP is really important for us,” said The Durgas’ co-founder, Chris Simmersbach. “Here are political prisoners who went through the same thing that Aung San Suu Kyi has been going through for so many years. We can’t go inside Burma, but we can come here and learn about these brave people’s experiences in prison.”

The Durgas are about to release a new album entitled “Burma,” with several new numbers dedicated to the Burmese democracy movement.

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group |