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Writer finds a hopeful voice for the forgotten Rohingyas

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Daniel C. Britt
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Native Myanmar punk Min Sid sings with his band, Outcast, at a punk show at the Pirate Bar in downtown Yangon on Sunday, April 8, 2018. The punk-rockers are part of the few willing to publicly oppose the Myanmar government's ethnic cleansing of Rohingya

For freelance writer Daniel Britt, his recent story originates in Buffalo and stretches all the way to the Rohingyan refugee camps in Bangladesh.

First, he encountered a family of four Rohingyan refugees who have taken up residence in Buffalo. However, one son, Hossain, decided to remain behind with family members in Myanmar. Those family members have since been killed, leaving Hossain to flee and live among 700,000 refugees in the Bangladesh encampment.

Upon his visits to the camp and to Myanmar, Britt uncovered what he saw as an encouraging, new wave trend.

"It's a punk rock story," Britt said.

"The music is amazing. These guys, they look more punkish than Sid Vicious in the Eighties. Mohawks are phenomenal and the theater of it!"

According to Britt, those involved in Myanmar's punk rock scene "are influenced by the internet, influenced by international music, international news."

Their voices have been singing out against the Myanmar government's oppressive approach to the Rohingya. Britt says the government narrative paints the Rohingya as a Muslim ethnic bent on supplanting Buddhists as the nation's greatest influence.

"I believe, right now in Myanmar, the punk rockers are the Rohingyas only hope."

Daniel Britt's story appears in the edition of Playboy magazine which hit newsstands today.

 

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