During the 1988 uprising, Zarganar was arrested for being an "instigator" and sent to the notorious Insein prison for a year. After his release he was arrested again during the 1990 elections for giving political speeches and sentenced to another four years in prison. His father, also a political activist, at one point gave a speech at the home of Aung San Suu Kyi, leading to a ban by the state censors. His mother Kyi Oo was also elected as an independent candidate.
February 2006: The government bans a movie that Zarganar directed, Run Out of Patience.
May 2006: Zarganar is banned from performing in the country for his interview with the BBC regarding government regulations on the water festival, and for making a television commercial suggesting Taiwanese independence.
February 2007: A state-run newspaper the New Light of Myanmar accuses Zarganar of participating in "illegal" activities and inciting "public unrest and violence" after his speech at a debate at the American Center, a venue operated by the US embassy in Yangon.
26 September 2007: Zarganar is arrested at his home for his participation in the ongoing anti-government protests. During the preceding two days he had, with fellow Burmese celebrity Kyaw Thu, publicly delivered food and water to Buddhist monks preparing to protest. During the preceding weekend, he had urged the public to support the monks in radio interviews from outside the country.