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Shan artists pool talent to expose sham 2010 elections

Famous Shan artists are today taking to the stage on the Shan-Thai border to officially launch a new VCD opposing the 2010 elections, already an underground hit in Shan State.

The Shan language VCD, produced by border-based community groups, features well-known artists singing modern and traditional songs, illustrated with striking video images and cartoons. Interspersed are interviews with Shan activists on issues such as the 2008 constitution, human rights, drugs, development and education, all showing how the regime's sham elections will be bring no improvements to Shan State.

A thousand copies of the VCD have been distributed in Shan State since early September, with many more reproduced clandestinely by local community networks.

"People are hungry for the truth about the election and how it will affect their lives,” said Nang Hseng Moon of the Shan Women's Action Network.

Key to the VCD's success is famous singer "Sa-ka-ha," of the band Freedom's Way, who is a household name in Shan State.  He composed and sings the CD's theme song "Choice for 2010."

“The whole idea for the VCD came from local communities,” said Sa-ka-ha (whose name means "pungent"). “There’s a strong culture of resistance through song in Shan State.”

With Burmese as the official language in Burma, Shan communities rely largely on VCDs for entertainment in their mother tongue.

The CD will be available for viewing on YouTube.