Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kachin MMA fighter's Burmese debut denied due to visa trouble

Aung La N Sang
Aung La N Sang, the US based Kachin mix martial arts (MMA) fighter says he was unable to take part in the “Kingdom of Warriors” MMA event held in Rangoon earlier this month because of visa issues. In an interview with a MMA focused website, MMA Latest, Aung La N Sang explained that Burmese embassy officials in Singapore denied his request to come home.

“The Singapore embassy didn't approve my visa so I didn't get the chance to fight at that event,” he said (see here

“I was offered to fight at that event and I wanted to fight so badly but due to my status in the US, I was not able to. It was heartbreaking that I couldn't fight in Myanmar but everything happens for a reason and all I can do is keep training and be as professional as I can be,” he added.

His visa trouble will likely infuriate his many Kachin fans who were looking forward to the fighter, dubbed the Burmese Python, demonstrating his skills in the country of his birth. Although it’s unclear exactly why his visa was denied, other prominent Kachin exiles have also had similar visa issues. Last year the popular '88 generation singer Mun Awng was denied a visa by Burmese embassy officials in Bangkok. Mun Awng who lives in Norway eventually had his visa approved after a public outcry and he was able to come back for the first time in nearly three decades earlier this year.

Aung La N Sang has been involved in the sport of MMA since he arrived in the US more than a decade ago. Before a fight in 2012 he wrote on his website about his concern for the plight of his fellow Kachin.

“I am a Kachin and I cannot keep reading about the dire situation of my people and do nothing. I know I am just an [MMA] fighter, and not a politician or a person of power. I have also never been interested in politics, because thinking about politics in the context of Myanmar makes me feel so helpless. As a kid growing up in Myanmar, I have witnessed firsthand the injustice and the inequality of the ruling military junta. In addition, I have lost two paternal uncles to the Burmese military. But let’s face it. This is no politics. There are people who are desperate for help and their cries simply cannot be ignored,” he said.


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