Jason Mraz tops Myanmar anti-trafficking concert
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz mixed entertainment with education to become the first world-class entertainer in decades to perform in Myanmar, with a concert to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Mraz's 2008 hit I'm Yours was the finale for Sunday night's concert before a crowd of about 50,000 people at the base of the famous hilltop Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the country's biggest city.
Local artists, including a hip-hop singer, also played at the event organised by MTV in cooperation with U.S. and Australian government aid agencies and the anti-slavery organisation Walk Free. Myanmar is emerging from decades of isolation under a reformist elected government that took office last year after almost five decades of military rule. It has been one of the region's poorest countries, and its bad human rights record made it the target of political and economic sanctions by Western nations.
But democratic reforms initiated by President Thein Sein have led to the lifting of most sanctions, and the country is hopeful of a political and economic revival. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy opposition leader, was released from house arrest in late 2010 and won a seat in parliament last April.