RANGOON — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) claimed a landslide victory in a Nov. 8 poll, invited a number of celebrities to her home on Thursday to thank them for reinforcing her campaign.
Among her high-profile endorsements, which helped garner support among Burma’s youth and some citizens who had little experience or interest in politics, were dozens of famous musicians, filmmakers and actors.
“Throughout the pre-election period, we found there were some places where the public wasn’t very interested in the election. At that time, we approached artists for reinforcement,” she told her guests, “and your support was very effective.”
Suu Kyi offered gratitude to the attendees, remarking that “though I asked for help, I didn’t have the opportunity to thank you—now I would like to thank you all.”
The victorious opposition leader, herself a celebrity of sorts, also spoke to the role of artists in bringing about political and social change.
Suu Kyi’s campaign seemed to benefit greatly from endorsements from celebrities such as Anegga, a rapper who became famous while part of Burma’s first major hip-hop group, Acid.
By now, no doubt, everyone is familiar with the artist’s latest hit, “Fighting Peacock NLD,” a catchy rap song featuring raps by Anegga, G-Tone and Yan Yan Chan, complimented by singers Saw Phoe Khwar and She. Supporters of the party blasted the tune on repeat from trucks and campaign stages in the run-up to Sunday’s poll, turning political speeches into dance parties.
“After our trips to 34 towns, we witnessed the public support for Daw Suu and the NLD, and their desire to see her in power,” Anegga told The Irrawaddy, reiterating the party’s request to keep things calm until early next year. “We are not yet fully satisfied—only after the transfer of leadership… But right now, we can’t believe fully.”
Another artist who lent his support to the cause, filmmaker Wyne, on Thursday shared a photograph of the event on his Facebook page. Above the photo he reminded his nearly 130,000 followers of what Suu Kyi told the gathering of artists: “This is just beginning to work.”
Suu Kyi also had support from many trishaw drivers throughout the country, who cycled through the streets donning NLD flags, t-shirts and hats. She said on Thursday that also hopes to bring them together to express her thanks.