But do not be put off, for without tourists the symbolic, heroic resistance of the Moustache Brothers would come to an end. They are comedians who dared to mock the regime. For this crime – for tyranny is terrified of laughter – two of them were imprisoned and set to work on chain gangs. Now released, they perform their act in English, laboriously learned, to tiny foreign audiences on a miniature stage. In truth, the performance is not very funny. But it is utterly magnificent. It is a heartbreaking and touching thing to see these men and their families daring to say the unsayable, to laugh at the deadly serious, especially in the menacing blackness from which – at any time – vengeance might suddenly emerge.
– Extracted from Peter Hitchens, “Inside Burma: The last ghost of the British Empire”, The Daily Mail, 14 December 2008. Previous New Mandala coverage of the Moustache Brothers and their performances is available here and here.