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Ye Htut, last of Burma’s ‘30 Comrades’ freedom fighters, dies

Independent Burma’s last human link with its founding fathers was severed this week with the death in Rangoon  of Ye Htut, one of the so-called “30 Comrades”, at the age of 92. He was the last surviving member of a band of students who invaded Burma alongside the Japanese with the aim of overthrowing British colonial rule, in which they succeeded with remarkable ease.

Par Par Lay: Comedian who satirised the Burmese regime

It was always likely that Par Par Lay would spend his life entertaining people and poking fun. Born into a family of traditional entertainers, at the age of 14 he followed his father on to the stage as a performer of Ah Nyeint, a Burmese vaudeville-type entertainment that mixes humour and satire with dance and music. Performers would typically tour villages, customising their patter and jokes with local references. Yet over the years his jokes become increasingly biting and political, and he directed his barbs less towards local officials and more towards the military generals who exerted an iron grip on the country.

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