Thee Lay Thee, a Burmese performance group, famous for its satirical shows that skewered the military government has flown back to Burma from a self-imposed exile in Thailand.
In 2007 TLT gave a performance in Rangoon which mocked authorities, only months after security forces had put down renewed anti-government protests. Following the show, the group went on an overseas tour where they chose to remain for safety reasons.
Comedian Zarganar, founder of the original group, had stayed in Burma and was jailed in 2008. He is now serving a 35-year prison sentence.
Burma went through changes during the troupe’s absence, including Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy leader, being released from years of detention in November 2010 and a nominally civilian government, backed by the military, taking power this year.
Upon landing in Rangoon, TLT declared “We like the fact that the new government is taking steps towards democracy.”
Still, not all exiles are as optimistic about Burma’s future as the performing troupe. Many have pointed out that while President Sein is calling for exiled Burmese to return home, he has offered no amnesty. A veteran journalist, Sein Kyaw Hlaing, has reportedly been detained for questioning upon return.
Burma has also refused to buckle under intense international pressure in regards to the roughly 2,000 political prisoners it is believed to be holding.
Read more at BBC News.