The Moustache Brothers

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The Moustache Brothers in 2011. Lu Zaw (left), Par Par Lay (center) and Lu Maw (right).
Two foreigners with The Moustache Brothers in Mandalay, Burma 2012
Lu Maw performing at home in Mandalay

The Moustache Brothers are a comedic trio from Mandalay, Burma known for live performances that combine screwball comedy, classic Burmese dance, and sharply satirical criticism of the totalitarian Burmese military regime.

The Moustache Brothers were originally composed of U Par Par Lay, U Lu Zaw, and Lu Maw. Par Par Lay and Lu Maw were real life brothers, while the trio's third member, Lu Zaw, was their cousin.[1]

Lay and Zaw served almost six years of a sentence to seven years in labour camp for criticizing the government in a performance at the home of Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon in 1996. Two National League for Democracy members who had arranged the performance were also arrested and served the same time. Amnesty International led a campaign for their release, and negotiations by Suu Kyi are suspected of having contributed to their release. As part of the conditions for their release and the fact that they were under house arrest regulations, they were allowed to perform only for foreigners, within the garage of their Mandalay house.

Par Par Lay was arrested on September 25, 2007 as part of the crackdown on the anti-government protests.[2][3] Par Par Lay was released on November 1, 2007 after 36 days in prison and continued to perform with his family and troupe in Mandalay.

Par Par Lay died on August 2, 2013.[4] Lu Maw and Lu Zaw will continue to perform as the Moustache Brothers as a duo.[1] Their first public performance without Par Par Lay was held four days after his funeral.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Buncombe, Andrew (August 20, 2013). "Par Par Lay: Comedian who satirised the Burmese regime". The Independent. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  2. ^, number 236
  3. ^ Sober times for Myanmar's comics, New York Times via International Herald Tribune; retrieved
  4. ^ Junta Satirist From ‘Moustache Brothers’ Trio Dead at 67, The Irrawaddy; retrieved 8/6/2013

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