Charity Raffle Launched to Help Myanmar’s Displaced People

By The Irrawaddy 7 October 2022

A worldwide campaign, named “Stars Never Fall”,  has been launched by anti-regime activists to honor Myanmar’s four executed pro-democracy activists.

Veteran pro-democracy activist Ko Kyaw Min Yu, known as Ko Jimmy; former National League for Democracy lawmaker and hip-hop star Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw; and protesters Ko Hla Myo Aung and Ko Aung Thura Zaw were hanged by the regime on July 23 and 24 in Insein Prison.

Stars Never Fall organizers said while the campaign honors all those killed opposing the regime, it is named after the four whose killing symbolizes the junta’s barbarism after nearly four decades without any executions and despite international appeals for mercy.

Stars Never Fall will include a series of activities hosted by anti-regime activists across the world. The first is a raffle for a signed guitar.

Activist Ma Myat Moe in San Francisco said both Ko Jimmy and Ko Phyo Zeya Thaw loved music.

All the proceeds will go to supporting those displaced by fighting, she added.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on August 1 that there were an estimated 1.24 million displaced people across Myanmar, of whom around 897,000 had been displaced since the 2021 coup.

The guitar is signed by singer and composer Saung Oo Hlaing. It was recently won at an auction funding the revolution by a group of activists.

A poster for charity raffle. / Facebook)

A total of 1,500 tickets are on sale for around 20,000 kyats each with the winning ticket drawn on October 15. Tickets can be purchased here.

Military defector Captain Lin Htet Aung said in a talk organized by the campaigners that the executions were intended to intimidate opponents but they had backfired.

“We grieve for our loss. But it didn’t make us weak, instead, we worked harder for the revolution,” he added.

Ma Myat Moe said people will always remember the heroes’ sacrifice.

“We will always remember our heroes. The regime needs to know that we won’t be satisfied until the end,” she said.