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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Bands back Burma activist Suu Kyi
Michael Stipe on stage at London's Hammersmith Apollo
REM's Michael Stipe praised Suu Kyi's "resolve and courage"
Paul McCartney and REM are to feature on an album dedicated to Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

The leader of Burma's opposition party has been held under house arrest by the ruling military junta for a year.

Eric Clapton, U2, Coldplay, Sting and Travis will also feature on the 27-track album, the proceeds of which will go to the US Campaign for Burma.

Clapton said he wanted to tell any Burmese people who hear his songs that he supports their efforts for freedom.

We stand tall for her as she will again stand tall for herself
REM singer Michael Stipe

The album, called For the Lady: Dedicated to freeing Aung San Suu Kyi, will be released by Rhino Records on 26 October.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Burma, has spent nine of the past 15 years in some form of detention.

Michael Stipe, lead singer of REM, said: "Her dedication, resolve, courage and patience are the mark of a leader. We stand tall for her as she will again stand tall for herself."

Military dictatorship

Proceeds from the sale of the album will help the non-profit group US Campaign for Burma highlight the country's situation under the military dictatorship.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for more than a year

The group's spokesman Jeremy Woodrum said: "Music has helped bring about change in many parts of the world."

Clapton said: "Anytime anyone in Burma listens to my music, I want them to know that they are listening to an artist that supports their freedom."

The album will feature exclusive tracks by REM, Pearl Jam, Damien Rice and Tom Morello's The Nightwatchman, as well as previously released songs by Lavigne, Coldplay and Travis.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the US government in August called for Aung San Suu Kyi to be freed from house arrest.

The government of Burma, which calls the country Myanmar, is supposed to be drawing up a new constitution as a first step towards the restoration of democracy.

The junta has clamped down on Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, because of its efforts to win democratic reforms.




SEE ALSO:
Annan demands Suu Kyi's release
17 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Burma
03 Apr 04  |  Country profiles
Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi
03 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Coldplay front 'fair trade' fight
10 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Stars sing out against war
16 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Burma's growing music scene
13 Sep 02  |  Asia-Pacific


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