Story: Jack Foley
DAMIEN Rice and Lisa Hannigan are to release Unplayed Piano
as a single on June 20 in support of the Free Aung San
Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign, a global initiative to
free the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient on her 60th Birthday,
Written for Suu Kyi by Rice and Hannigan following a visit by
Rice to Burma in July 2004, Unplayed Piano will be released
through 14th Floor Records/DRM.
All profits from the sale of the record will go to support the
US Campaign for Burma and Burma Campaign UK.
In addition, in support of the single, as part of a series one-off
shows across Europe to highlight the campaign, Rice has announced
a solo concert at London’s Palladium on
Monday, June 20.
Profits from the live dates will go to the AAPPB (Assistance
Association of Political Prisoners in Burma).
For further information please go to www.aappb.net.
Commenting on the forthcoming projects, Damien Rice said: "I
prefer not to interfere too much with what is going on in the
world, but when someone has been thrown into a hole and they ask
you to throw down a rope, I am happy to look for a rope especially
for a woman of such grace."
From June 1, individuals who wish to register their support
and take part in the Free Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Birthday Campaign
can go to the
For those interested in knowing more before June 1, then
Aung San Suu Kyi is the world’s
only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
The new efforts to free Suu Kyi by a number of organisations
is modelled on the 'Mandela at 70' Campaign in 1988.
The actions include scores of events around the world, from the
USA to Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Since 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong Sawn Sue Chee) has
led an international campaign to end over 40 years of brutal military
rule in the Southeast Asian country of Burma.
After a nationwide uprising was crushed in 1988, she led her
political party the National League for Democracy to an 82% victory
in a national election in 1990.
The ruling dictatorship refused to recognize the results and
has kept her locked up for nearly ten of the past 15 years –
on June 19, Suu Kyi will have spent nine years and 238 days in
In the meantime, Burma's regime has recruited up to 70,000 child
soldiers (far more than any other country in the world), instituted
a nationwide system of modern-day slavery, and imprisoned over
1,400 political activists.
Over 2,000,000 refugees have fled their homes in Burma - many
to neighbouring Thailand, where they scratch out a living in rudimentary
Always a peacemaker, Suu Kyi and her movement have called on
Burma’s regime to agree to negotiations aimed at a transition
Since the regime refuses to talk, she has called on individuals,
nations, and the United Nations to impose political and economic
sanctions on the regime until they come to the dialogue table.
Even though hundreds of her supporters have been killed she never
calls for violence.
Said Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize recipient from South
Africa: "As long as she remains under arrest, none of us
is truly free."