Rebel Riot, a punk band from Yangon, is among a growing number of musicians rallying for human rights and democracy in Myanmar.

They use their music to combat oppression and speak out against Buddhist monks instigating hate and violence against Myanmar’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority. The Ma Ba Tha, an ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks organisation formed in 2012, spearheaded most of the rhetoric that fuelled anti-Muslim hatred in recent years.

Kyaw Kyaw, the band’s 31-year-old guitarist and lead singer, who believes that “monks should do monk’s job” and promotes religious coexistence, shares his views on monks, military and music in Myanmar.

‘The monks … were heroes’

“We founded Rebel Riot in 2007 because of the Saffron Revolution … one of the biggest protests in Myanmar against the military government.

Everybody wanted freedom. Everybody

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