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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Right to /Censorship > Freedom of opinion and expression: - the situation in Burma/Myanmar - reports, analyses, recommendations

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Freedom of opinion and expression: - the situation in Burma/Myanmar - reports, analyses, recommendations
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Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Widespread condemnation of 10-year jail sentences handed down to Burmese journalists
Date of publication: 11 July 2014
Description/subject: "Journalists and media and human rights organisations in Myanmar and abroad have reacted with shock and dismay to the 10 years' jail with hard labour sentences handed down in the Unity journal case. A court in Magway Region imposed the sentence on the weekly publication's chief executive officer and four reporters on July 10, 2014 over a report the journal carried in January that a military-run factory was producing chemical weapons, a claim denied by the government..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima News, Freedom House, WAN-IFRA, Southeast Asian Press Alliance‎, Aung San Suu Kyi, Amnesty International via IFEX
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014


Title: Article 19 - Search for Burma/Myanmar
Description/subject: 167 items (July 2014)on freedom of expression related to Burma/Myanmar
Author/creator: NA
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Title: IFEX Burma page
Description/subject: Articles on freedom of expression in Burma/Myanmar. Archive from 1996
Language: English, Français, French, Español, Spanish, Arabic, عربي
Source/publisher: The global network for free expression
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2012


Title: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) - Burma/Myanmar page
Description/subject: "SEAPA is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation campaigning for genuine press freedom in Southeast Asia. Established in Bangkok in November 1998, it aims to unite independent journalists’ and press-related organizations in the region into a force for advocacy and mutual protection. SEAPA’s goal is to provide a forum for the defence of press freedom, giving protection to journalists and nurturing an environment where free expression, transparency, pluralism and a responsible media culture can flourish.Membership in the Alliance is open to independent press advocacy organisations with a proven track record of working for press freedom. SEAPA’s founding members—from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand—are among the most well established press advocacy organizations in Southeast Asia. Together they bring an innovative regional perspective to the practice of journalism and a vision of a Southeast Asia that is the home of a free and vibrant media..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Individual Documents

Title: Media suppression imperils Myanmar reform
Date of publication: 18 August 2014
Description/subject: "...News is a big part of the average Myanmar citizen's daily life. Over 300 newspapers and journals feed the country's seemingly insatiable appetite for news. Yet despite recent progress in press freedoms, the country's media landscape remains delicate, with previous reforms now dangling by a thread. In July, the jailing on national security charges of five Unity Journal journalists, including the paper's chief executive, sparked an international uproar. They each received a hefty 10-year sentence for violating the 1923 State Secrets Act for publishing a report exposing an alleged secret chemical weapons factory. Fifty local journalists who protested their incarceration have since faced freedom of assembly-related charges. This followed the very public deportation of an Australian journalist working for the once exiled anti-government Democratic Voice of Burma. A group of journalists at the Bi Mon Te Nay news journal are being held in pre-trial detention and face criminal charges that carry potential prison terms for publishing an activist group statement that said opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had formed an interim government. They were initially charged with violating the more severe 1950 Emergency Act..."
Author/creator: Elliot Brennan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2014


Title: Burma Police to Visit Newspaper Offices to Identify Protesting Reporters
Date of publication: 15 July 2014
Description/subject: "Police in Rangoon say they are planning to visit newspaper offices to confirm the identities of about 50 journalists who are accused of staging an unauthorized protest against President Thein Sein. On Saturday, journalists taped over their mouths outside a meeting at the Myanmar Peace Center in Rangoon attended by the president to register their opposition to the sentencing of five newspaper staffers last week. Four reporters and the CEO of the Unity journal were given 10 years with hard labor after the President’s Office sued them for reporting allegations that a military facility in Magwe Division is being used to manufacture chemical weapons. After Saturday’s demonstration, police said the journalists named on a list of those present would be charged with Article 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Law, which requires prior permission for public gatherings. The list includes numerous reporters who were only there to cover the event..."
Author/creator: May Sitt Paing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014


Title: BURMA/MYANMAR: Journalists get ten years jail for writing on army
Date of publication: 14 July 2014
Description/subject: "The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regrets to inform you that four journalists who wrote an investigative article about an army facility in Burma have been sentenced to ten years in jail, along with their editor. The conviction is clearly intended to intimidate the print media in Burma, or Myanmar, at a time that the country is supposedly democratizing..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission (Urgent Appeals Programme)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2014


Title: Back to Square One for Press Freedom in Burma
Date of publication: 10 July 2014
Description/subject: "Today’s news that journalists from Unity Journal have been sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor on charges related to a report alleging the existence of a government chemical weapons factory is a sad reminder that press freedom in Burma is still far from assured..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Title: Code of silence: A reporter's lot in Myanmar
Date of publication: 02 June 2014
Description/subject: "Reporters seeking information from government ministries know that the task is fraught with “ifs”. If they can find a phone number and if the phone call goes through and if someone does answer and if it is indeed the correct person, chances are they will get a gruff brush-off. All the ministries in Nay Pyi Taw have official spokespersons, as part of changes to improve transparency and media relations initiated by President U Thein Sein, but few, if any, actually speak to the press. Deputy Minister for Information U Ye Htut says attempts to encourage these spokespersons to engage with the media have largely failed due to a continued wariness of the press and a lack of access to high-level discussions."
Author/creator: Tim McLaughlin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2014


Title: BURMA / MYANMAR: Immediate need for fair trial and remedies for free speech
Date of publication: 21 2014
Description/subject: "...On 10 July 2014, four Journalists and a Chief Executive Director of Unity weekly news journal were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour under Section 3(1)(a) the “Burma Official Secrets Act 1923” because of article on an army own factory. The Asian Human Rights Commission has already issued an urgent appeal on this case (AHRC-UAC-066-2014). As the responsible officer of the factory said, in court, that the factory is not a chemical weapon factory, there is no evidence that the accused sent documents to other powerful country and there is no signboard or any gazette order which shows the place is prohibited, it is obvious that the journalists committed no crime under the law under which they were charged..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 July 2014


Title: Burma: Freedom of expression in transition
Date of publication: July 2013
Description/subject: Introduction: "Burma is at a crossroads. The period of transition since 2010 has opened up the space for freedom of expression to an extent unpredicted by even the most optimistic in the country. Yet this space is highly contingent on a number of volatile factors: the goodwill of the current President and his associates in Parliament, the ability of Aung San Suu Kyi to assure the military that her potential ascendency is not a threat to their economic interests and the on-going civil conflicts not flaring into civil war. The restrictive apparatus of the former military state is still available for the government to use to curtail freedom of expression – the most draconian laws are still on the statute book affecting the media, the digital sphere and the arts; police and local authorities have significant discretion when it comes to approving speech and performance, and the judiciary has a limited institutional understanding of freedom of expression. In effect, the old state remains in the shadows – or as one journalist told Index: “the generals have only changed their suits”. Yet Burma has changed. The country is freer than it was during Index’s mission in 2009, when meetings were held in secret. 1 In March this year, Index co-produced a symposium on artistic freedom of expression with local partners, the first public conversation of its kind in recent history . The abolition of pre-censorship of newspapers and literature, the return of daily newspapers, the release of political prisoners and the open space given to political debate all signal real change. The question for the government and the opposition is: will the transition be sustained with legal and political reform to reinforce the space for freedom of expression and to dismantle the old state apparatus that continues to pose a threat to freedom of expression? This paper is divided into the following chapters: Burmese politics and society; media freedom; artistic freedom of expression and digital freedom of expression. The report is based on research conducted in the UK and 20 interviews (with individuals and groups) in March 2013 conducted in Mandalay and Yangon. Due to the ongoing possibility of future prosecutions, the interviewees have been kept anonymous. Politics and society looks at the role of the President, United Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the student movement and freedom of expression, ethnic conflict and the constitution and the need for reform, freedom of association and freedom of assembly. The media freedom chapter looks at the press council, existing impediments to media freedom, the state of media plurality and self-censorship in the press. The artistic freedom of expression chapter covers theatre and performance art, literature, music and film. Finally , the digital freedom of expression chapter looks at access issues, the impact of new technologies and state censorship on the digital sphere. The report is based on a series of interviews conducted in Rangoon and Mandalay in March 2013, with additional interviews conducted in April 2013 in the same cities."
Author/creator: Mike Harris
Language: English
Source/publisher: Index on Censorship
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-reduced version; 4.6MB-original)
Date of entry/update: 11 August 2013


Title: Burma falters, backtracks on press freedom
Date of publication: 13 June 2013
Description/subject: A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.....The media landscape in Burma is more open than ever, as President Thein Sein releases imprisoned journalists and abolishes the former censorship regime. But many threats and obstacles to truly unfettered reporting remain, including restrictive laws held over from the previous military regime. The wider government’s commitment to a more open reporting environment is in doubt..."
Author/creator: Shawn W. Crispin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists
Format/size: pdf (3.7MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs17/CPJ-burma2013.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2014


Title: Burma falters, backtracks on press freedom - A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists
Date of publication: 13 June 2013
Description/subject: "The media landscape in Burma is more open than ever, as President Thein Sein releases imprisoned journalists and abolishes the former censorship regime. But many threats and obstacles to truly unfettered reporting remain, including restrictive laws held over from the previous military regime. The wider government’s commitment to a more open reporting environment is in doubt. A CPJ special report by Shawn W. Crispin..."
Author/creator: Shawn W. Crispin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists
Format/size: pdf (3.7MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.cpj.org
Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013


Title: Reforming Telecommunications in Burma - Human Rights and Responsible Investment in Mobile and the Internet
Date of publication: 19 May 2013
Description/subject: "In January 2013, the Burmese government announced plans to liberalize the country’s telecommunications sector and invited bids for two nationwide telecommunications licenses. Successful bidders will be allowed to provide a range of services, including mobile and Internet services. The Burmese government has promised to significantly reduce the cost of mobile phones and has set an ambitious goal of 50 percent mobile penetration by 2016, a remarkable increase from current penetration estimated at 5-10 percent. Human Rights Watch has long believed that Internet and mobile technologies have an enormous potential to advance human rights. Developing Burma’s information and communications technology (ICT) and telecommunications sectors could enhance economic growth and civic participation in a country that has been closed for decades. Email, social media, and cell phones have become essential tools for journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society groups worldwide because these technologies support instant communication, access to information, and effective organization on the ground. However, these benefits may be jeopardized unless governments and corporations safeguard the ability of people to use new technologies freely and without fear of reprisal. Improved telecommunications networks can become powerful tools for censorship and illegal surveillance, absent protections for human rights and other critical measures. Yet Burma’s democratic reforms remain incomplete and the government and its security forces continue to commit serious human rights violations. Companies entering Burma face a significant risk of contributing to abuses, particularly in sectors, such as telecommunications and the Internet, that have been linked with past abuses and where rights-based reforms to date have been inadequate. Opening up these sectors to international investment raises the risk that the government may seek to involve technology companies in illegal surveillance, censorship, and other abuses. In this report, Human Rights Watch has outlined several steps necessary to promote adequate human rights protections for Internet and mobile phone users in Burma, and the actions needed to foster responsible investment in Burma’s telecommunications and Internet sectors. Telecommunications and ICT companies should not move forward in Burma until such measures are in place, in view of the human rights risks. The analysis and recommendations contained in this report are based on research conducted from February to April 2013. The report’s analysis focuses on laws most relevant to Burma’s telecommunications and ICT sectors, and does not provide a comprehensive treatment of Burma’s laws, legal system or constitution...To respect the rights of the people of Burma, international telecommunications and ICT companies should take meaningful steps at the outset to assess the human rights impact and address any harm that may result from their operations. They should conduct what is often referred to as “human rights due diligence” and adopt robust safeguards to prevent and address abuses, including with respect to the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (295K-OBL version; 474K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma'>http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma'>http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2013


Title: Burma: The art of transition (text and video)
Date of publication: 30 March 2013
Description/subject: "The Art of Transition Symposium took place in Yangon on March 30th – 31st 2013. It was the first public discussion of artist freedom of expression in Burma, looking in particular at the impact of the wave of political reforms, which started at the end of 2011, on artistic freedom of expression. Here is a short film directed by artist Htein Lin, who also was artistic advisor to the symposium with comedian and director Zarganar. The film reports briefly on the Symposium, and gives a snapshot of some of the performances and exhibitions that have taken place in Yangon during the year since the symposium. The Symposium was co-produced by HOME – Zarganar’s new company HOME (which stands for House of Media and Entertainment) and Index on Censorship. The Burmese team was led by journalist and former political prisoner Zaw Thet Htwe..."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Index on Censorship, Zargana, Htein Lin et al.
Format/size: Adobe Flash (14 Minutes, 37 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2014


Title: Reporters emerge from shadows as Myanmar loosens grip on press
Date of publication: 21 November 2012
Description/subject: (CNN) -- "It was "censorship day," the 20th of the month, the day Nyein Nyein Naing, executive director of Myanmar's Seven Days News Journal, takes her stories to a government office for pre-publication scrutiny. Normally, a report on refugees fleeing from the conflict-ravaged Kachin state would not be accepted. Its distribution would most likely result in jail time for the author and suspension of the journal. But August 20 was a new day for Myanmar, the day the government rescinded repressive media censorship laws that had hindered and intimidated the country's journalists for decades. Still, Naing had her concerns..."
Author/creator: Michelle Cohan,
Source/publisher: CNN
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2012


Title: Burma: Prioritize broad consultations to institutionalize media freedom
Date of publication: 08 November 2012
Description/subject: "SEAPA initiated two ‘town hall meetings’ in Myanmar—one in Yangon on 23-24 September and one in Mandalay on 26 September—with the aim providing support for the media community to empower themselves in lobbying for a free media legal environment in Burma. These activities were organized within the context of the considerable expansion of press freedom in the country, including the end of pre-publication censorship, and the announcement of the drafting of a new press/media law. The following document summarises the recommendations and inputs from the two Town Hall Meetings organized in Yangon and Mandalay and attended by 90 working journalists, discussing issues related to media law, self-regulation of the media and professional capacities of journalists.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
Format/size: pdf (110K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.seapabkk.org/seapa-news/100702-burma-broad-consultations-must-underpinpin-institutionali...
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2012


Title: Update on information controls in Burma
Date of publication: 23 October 2012
Description/subject: Posted in Arrests and legal action, Asia, Burma, Internet tools filtering, Political filtering... "After years spent as one of the world’s most strictly controlled information environments, the government of Burma (Myanmar) has recently begun to open up access to previously censored online content. Independent and foreign news sites, oppositional political content, and sites with content relating to human rights and political reform -- all previously blocked -- have recently become accessible. These developments have occurred as part of a broader process of political and economic liberalization currently underway in this historically strict authoritarian state. This brief outlines the changes in information controls that have occurred during the past year and reports the results of recent OpenNet Initiative tests for Internet filtering in the country. While significant censorship of a number of types of online content persists in the country, the past year has seen a notable decrease in both the breadth and depth of filtered content..."
Author/creator: Irene Poetranto
Language: English
Source/publisher: OpenNet Initiative
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2012


Title: Myanmar: The Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession 2012 - Legal Analysis (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 20 September 2012
Description/subject: Executive Summary and Recommendations: In July 2012, "ARTICLE 19 analysed the Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession of Myanmar, adopted by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on 5 July 2012. The provisions of the Decree were examined for their compliance with international standards on human rights. Myanmar has neither signed nor ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or other principal human rights treaties. Nevertheless, ARTICLE 19 suggests that guarantees to the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as provided by Article 364 of the Constitution of Myanmar, allow a wide scope for interpretation and that international standards regarding these rights should provide guidance to such an interpretation. In the analysis, ARTICLE 19 appreciates the Decree’s recognition of the state duty to protect assembly participants. However, the requirement for permission to hold an assembly, the grounds for denying permission, the lack of a court appeal and the absence of guarantees for media access to assemblies are problematic and must be urgently revised. ARTICLE 19 also calls on the Government of Myanmar – in consultation with civil society - to review other legislative measures in light of international standards and to make them compliant with these standards. Recommendations ARTICLE 19 calls on the Government of Myanmar: • To sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; • To invite the UN special rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression to visit Myanmar; • To ensure that the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression are safeguarded in line with international standards; • To revise the Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession in accordance with international standards on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as recommended by ARTICLE 19; • To initiate public discussion about the current legal framework on peaceful assemblies and engage in consultation with civil society representatives on how to improve the relevant legislation. ARTICLE 19 calls on civil society in Myanmar: • To engage in public debates and consultation with the government on how to improve the domestic legislation on peaceful assembly; • To form coalitions between civil society organisations and launch public education campaigns on the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression; • To draft legislative proposals and advocate for specific changes in domestic legislation aiming at the improvement of the protection of the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of expression; • To seek partnerships with international organisations in a specific mandate on the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (346K-English; 6.54MB-Burmese))
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/data/files/medialibrary/3440/12-09-19-LA-Myanmar-BU.pdf
http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3440/en/myanmar:-law-on-assembly-and-procession-inc...
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2012


Title: Analysis of the Guarantees of Freedom of Expression in the 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar August 2012
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "When it was first introduced in 2008, the new Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was deemed to be a great improvement over the previous constitution. An important part of this was the more robust guarantees it included for human rights. And an important part of the latter was its relatively strong guarantees for freedom of expression. At the same time, the guarantees for freedom of expression in the 2008 Constitution do not fully meet international standards in this area. This Analysis outlines the key attributes of international standards, and indicate how the guarantees of freedom of expression in the 2008 Constitution fail to meet these standards..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD); International Media Support (IMS)
Format/size: pdf (456K)
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2012


Title: BURMA: Crisis in Arakan State and New Threats to Freedom of News and Information
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "On 28 May 2012, Ma Thida Htwe, a 27-year-old Burmese woman, was raped and killed by a group of men in the town of Kyaukphyu in the western state of Arakan. A few days after the murder, photographs of the victim were circulated on Facebook. In early June, shots of three men named and identified as the perpetrators of the gang rape were also published. Subsequently, these photos were widely shared on the social network before being published by a Burmese media organization. News about the crime circulated on the Web before being published and broadcast by the media. The speed with which it spread illustrates the growth in Internet freedom in Burma. From the start, however, details of the religious and ethnic backgrounds of the victim and the perpetrators have influenced the way this tragic incident has been viewed, with the media highlighting the fact that the victim was a Buddhist Rakhine and the alleged perpetrators were Rohingya Muslims. This has had the effect of heightening ethnic tension, turning the Internet into a virtual battleground. In this tense atmosphere, a bus carrying 10 passengers identified as Rohingyas was stopped by an angry crowd in the town of Taungup on 3 June. The occupants were killed and two days later photos of their bodies were circulated in the public media. Some even branded them as "Kalar", a pejorative term for Rohingyas and Bengalis living in the west of Burma..."
Language: English, Français, French,
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders
Format/size: pdf (769K); html, 29K (Français)
Alternate URLs: http://fr.rsf.org/birmanie-la-crise-dans-l-etat-d-arakan-et-28-06-2012,42907.html
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


Title: La crise dans l’Etat d’Arakan et les nouvelles menaces sur la liberté d’information
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "Le 28 mai 2012, Ma Thida Htwe, une jeune birmane de 27 ans, a été violée puis tuée par plusieurs individus dans la ville de Kyaukphyu, dans l’Etat d’Arakan (ouest du pays). Quelques jours après le meurtre, des photos de la victime circulaient sur Facebook. Dans les premiers jours du mois de juin, des clichés de trois individus, nommés et désignés comme étant les auteurs du viol en réunion ont également été publiées. Ces photos ont par la suite été massivement partagées sur le réseau social, avant d’être reprises par un média birman. L’information autour de ce crime de droit commun a dans un premier temps circulé sur la toile avant d’être diffusée par les médias. La rapidité de circulation de l’information montre l’accroissement de la liberté sur Internet en Birmanie. Toutefois dès le départ, les précisions apportées sur les origines ethniques et religieuses de la victime et des auteurs du crime ont apposé une grille de lecture biaisée sur ce fait divers dramatique, les médias mettant en avant le fait que la victime était Rakhine/bouddhiste et que les auteurs présumés du viol étaient quant à eux Rohingyas/musulmans. Ceci n’a fait qu’exacerbé les tensions ethniques, transformant Internet en un véritable "champs de bataille" virtuel. C’est dans ce climat de tensions que, le 3 juin, un bus transportant dix passagers identifiés comme "Rohingyas" a été intercepté près de la ville de Taungup par une foule en colère. Ses occupants on été lynchés. Deux jours plus tard, les clichés des corps circulaient dans les médias publics. Sur certaines unes, on pouvait même lire "Kalar", terme péjoratif désignant les Rohingyas et les Bengalis vivant dans l’ouest du pays..."
Author/creator: Benjamin Ismaïl
Language: Français, French
Source/publisher: Reporters Sans Frontieres
Format/size: html (29K)
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


Title: Sorting out sanctions, censorship, sincerity in Burma
Date of publication: 18 May 2012
Description/subject: "On Thursday, the United States rolled back prohibitions against American companies doing business in Burma. The announcement marked the latest diplomatic reward given to President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government for initiating reforms in what has historically been a military-run country. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the democratic changes initiated so far were "irreversible," but that is a characterization few of the country's journalists would share. The government has flip-flopped on media regulations in the past few days, a troubling indicator that there might be no media policy at all in place. First, the official version: The government-owned newspaper and website published by the Ministry of Information, New Light of Myanmar, reported that Information Minister Kyaw Hsan met with several journalists and writers' groups earlier in the week, pledging to "cooperate fully" with all the associations as the ministry drafts a "print media law, gradually but systematically releasing the grip over press in order that journalists can practice in harmony with that law after its ratification." The government has also said it plans to get a new media law through parliament in the coming months. But that doesn't mean there will be no censorship. After the government forms a press council, publications will be allowed to go to press under what it calls a check-after-publish system, New Light of Myanmar reported. Under current conditions, all copy must be submitted to censors first, and then be printed and distributed..."
Author/creator: Bob Dietz
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2012


Title: "World Press Freedom Day"
Date of publication: 04 May 2012
Description/subject: World Press Freedom Day - May 3, 2012... Silence Kills Democracy But a Free Press Talks...
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times (Burmese)"
Format/size: pdf (1.14MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/KN/World%20PressDay-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


Title: Burma: Role of freedom of expression in democratisation processes
Date of publication: 29 March 2012
Description/subject: 29 Mar 2012 Presentation to the Conference on Media Development in Myanmar, Organised by the Ministry of Information and UNESCO Rangoon, Myanmar, March 19-20, 2012.....CONCLUSION: "...At the outset I emphasised that law is the essential business of government and noted the critical part to be played by the tripartite system of law making, law enacting and law protection. The legislators, executive and judiciary fulfil critical functions without which the rule of law fails and the fabric of sustainable society falls. To set solid foundations for sustainable society, there are important laws, which should be drafted according to international standard and enacted accordingly. Critical are those that protect and uphold the rights to freedoms of expression, assembly and information and freedom of the press. They are a stable society’s backbone and shoulder blades. Robust legal frameworks for freedoms of expression, information and the media are critical and irrevocable human rights in their own right. They are also powerful social goods in that they enable government to fulfil its tri-partite functions, to maintain its responsibilities to the law and to uphold the best practices of good governance. The transparency provided by freedom of information, the scrutiny provided by freedom of the press and the critique provided by freedom of expression create the environment in which high quality accountability government can flourish and deepen. In other words if law is the skeletal framework on which stands and falls the strength and sustainability of a society, then the rights to freedoms of expression, information and the press is also a government’s personal trainer! A challenge, a goal, an encouragement and a motivator: without which no government can perform to the highest standard or achieve the best possible for those who give governments its raison d’etre: the people."
Author/creator: Agnes Callamard
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 April 2012


Title: Reporters Without Borders World Report 2012
Date of publication: 12 March 2012
Description/subject: "The recent and relative opening of the Burmese regime has resulted in information being more freely circulated on the Internet, despite continued close monitoring. The international community and Burmese human rights activists need to remain vigilant and keep striving for more freedom. One priority is to reform the liberticidal legislative framework. While much progress is still needed, the reforms already underway would be difficult to reverse. The Thein Sein era is off to a troubling start for Internet freedoms..." Updates to 23 December 2013 can be foundat the foot of the report
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2014


Title: Burma in mid-2011: A Contradictory Landscape
Date of publication: 30 September 2011
Description/subject: "...Earlier this month, the government unblocked several foreign news websites, including Reuters, the Guardian, CNN, and the Bangkok Post. Some of the newly accessible sites - Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and the BBC - have Burmese language sections. The websites of exiled Burmese news organisations such as the Democratic Voice of Burma and Irrawaddy can now be accessed, as well as social networking and streaming sites Hotmail, Blogger, and Youtube. This step toward liberalisation, however welcome, is inconsistent with the government’s overall monitoring policy. Not only do a large number of websites remain off-limits, but internet usage is still restricted to the country’s public internet cafés. Since November 2010, internet cafes in in Rangoon were required by the government to install closed-circuit cameras, screen-capture and keystroke-logging software so that online activities could be recorded and traced back to individuals. Flash drives have also been banned since May of this year..."
Author/creator: Anna Saunders
Language: English
Source/publisher: SEAPA Network
Format/size: html, pdf (74K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/SEAPA-2011-09.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2011


Title: OpenNet Initiative Burma (Myanmar) Country Profile 2011
Date of publication: 02 August 2011
Description/subject: Note: For the latest OpenNet Initiative testing results please see the 2012 Update on Information Controls in Burma. The following country profile reports 2011 findings, which do not reflect current events in the country. A previous version of this profile is available at Burma, 2010 and Burma, 2006-2007. Burma’s ruling military junta is attempting to expand Internet access in the country while maintaining a restrictive system of control. Although less than only 1 percent of the population has access to the Internet, the government maintains a tight grip over online content, and—as demonstrated by the shutdown of Internet access during the 2007 “Saffron Revolution”—is willing to take drastic action to control the flow of information. Internet filtering in Burma is pervasive and extensively targets political and social content. Strict laws and regulations, along with surveillance, prohibit Internet users from freely accessing the Internet. Cyber attacks on the Web sites of opposition groups and media are frequent and typically occur on the anniversaries of significant political events, or during critical moments such as the 2010 election.
Language: English
Source/publisher: OpenNet Initiative
Format/size: pdf (190K), html
Alternate URLs: http://access.opennet.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/accesscontested-burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2012


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period April-June 2011 by Burmese media in exile and private media subject to censorship restrictions
Date of publication: 24 June 2011
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage): Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB TV); "The Irrawaddy", "Mizzima", "Myanmar Times" and "Voice" Journal Charts of Burmese State-sponsored media coverage of political subjects and politicians in the period April-June 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (774K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period April-June 2011 by Burmese State-sponsored media
Date of publication: 24 June 2011
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage) by MYANMAR TV, MYAWADDY TV... (Space & Tone of the Coverage) by KYAYMON (The Mirror), MYANMAR AHLIN (New Light of Myanmar)Charts of Burmese State-sponsored media coverage
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (641K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Monitoring of Burmese media coverage in 2011. Report No. 4 (English)
Date of publication: 24 June 2011
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The results of monitoring in 2011 (which was conducted after the appointment of a new civilian government with the aim to assess if there was any change in the state policy revealed the opposite and confirmed the previous trends and patterns observed during the previous monitoring periods. It is thus possible to conclude that the monitored state-controlled media in Burma do not follow any journalistic standards, but serve only as a mouthpiece of the ruling powers. With more than a half a year after the flawed 2010 parliamentary elections, condemned by the United Nations and the whole international community, the main news programs of state-controlled TV channels once again showed only the top state officials and completely ignored any other stakeholders..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (155K)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011


Title: Monitoring of Burmese media coverage in 2011: Report No. 4၂၀၁၁ခု ျမန္မာ့မီဒီယာ သတင္းေဖာ္ျပပံုကိုေစာင့္ၾကည့္ေလ့လာခ်က္ (Burmese)
Date of publication: 24 June 2011
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The results of monitoring in 2011 (which was conducted after the appointment of a new civilian government with the aim to assess if there was any change in the state policy revealed the opposite and confirmed the previous trends and patterns observed during the previous monitoring periods. It is thus possible to conclude that the monitored state-controlled media in Burma do not follow any journalistic standards, but serve only as a mouthpiece of the ruling powers. With more than a half a year after the flawed 2010 parliamentary elections, condemned by the United Nations and the whole international community, the main news programs of state-controlled TV channels once again showed only the top state officials and completely ignored any other stakeholders..."
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (126K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Surveillance of media and Internet stepped up under new civilian president
Date of publication: 17 May 2011
Description/subject: "Press freedom and online freedom of information are still being flouted in Burma, three months after Thein Sein’s election as a civilian president. He promised to “respect the role of the media” but heavy jail sentences for journalists, suspension of newspapers and police raids on Internet cafés show that there has been no let-up in controls and intimidation. And now a string of new measures have just tightened control over Internet use..."..... Renforcement de la surveillance des médias et d’Internet sous l’ère Thein Sein ..."Trois mois après l’élection de Thein Sein à la tête de la Birmanie, la liberté de la presse et la liberté de l’information sur Internet sont toujours bafoués. Alors que le Président a déclaré qu’il respectait "le rôle des médias en tant que quatrième pouvoir", les condamnations de journalistes à de lourdes peines, les suspensions de journaux et les descentes de police dans les cybercafés illustrent l’inflexibilité du régime qui reste constant dans sa politique d’intimidation et de contrôle. Surtout, tout un train de mesures vient durcir le contrôle de la junte dans l’utilisation du Net..."
Language: Français, French, English
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders, Reporters Sans Frontieres
Format/size: pdf (399K); html,
Alternate URLs: http://fr.rsf.org/birmanie-renforcement-de-la-surveillance-17-05-2011,40295.html
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Surveillance_of_media_and_Internet.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 May 2011


Title: Freedom on the Net 2011 - Burma
Date of publication: 18 April 2011
Description/subject: Introduction: "While the Burmese military junta is interested in expanding and exploiting information and communication technologies (ICTs) for business and propaganda purposes, it makes aggressive attempts to regulate access to the internet and digital media, control content, and punish citizens for any online activity that is seen as detrimental to regime security. The government uses a wide range of means to restrict internet freedom, including legal and regulatory barriers, infrastructural and technical constraints, and coercive measures such as intimidation and lengthy prison sentences. Although the authorities lack the capacity to pervasively enforce all restrictions, the impact of sporadic implementation and the ensuing chilling effect is profound. There has been gradual improvement in access to ICTs over the past three years, but the junta has also aggressively targeted users who are involved in antigovernment activities or have contact with foreign news media. Since its crackdown on a wave of September 2007 protests led by Buddhist monks, the military regime has more strictly enforced licensing rules that require the owners of cybercafes, where most Burmese users obtain access, to monitor users’ screens and cooperate with criminal investigations. Both online and offline censorship and information controls were increased surrounding the November 7, 2010 national elections, which secured a sweeping victory for the military-backed party and were widely condemned as flawed. The state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) company launched the first official e-mail service in November 1997. The 2002 establishment of the first private internet-service provider (ISP), Bagan Cybertech, helped to increase the number of users in the country, though the company was later taken over by the junta. By 2010, there were over 520 registered cybercafes in Burma, located mainly in a few major cities. Censorship was further reinforced after the release of prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest on November 13. The government’s first attempt to restrict internet freedom was the 1996 Myanmar Computer Science Development Law, which made possession of an unregistered computer modem and connection to unauthorized computer networks punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Other laws and actions since then have furthered the government’s efforts to clamp down on unsupervised internet use."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Freedom House
Format/size: pdf (264K - Burma section; 4.1MB - full report, OBLversion; 5.9MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/FOTN2011-red.pdf
http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=664
http://www.freedomhouse.org/images/File/FotN/Burma2011.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2011


Title: Enemies of the Internet 2011 (Burma chapter)
Date of publication: 12 March 2011
Description/subject: "Burma took drastic measures in 2010 to reorganise the country’s Internet and to arm itself with the means, at the next sign of a crisis, to cut off its population’s Web access without affecting official connections. Prior to the November 2010 elections – the first in twenty years – censors resorted to massive crackdowns, intimidation and cyberattacks to reduce the risk of any negative coverage. Tampering is now at its height..."...Widespread Net censorship in Burma...Outstanding bloggers...Three netizens are still languishing in prison...Reconfiguring the Burmese Internet behind a smokescreen...Unreliable Internet connections in the run up to the 7 November 2010: Slowdowns, cyberattac ks and tampering...Da w Aung Sa n Suu Kyi: Free and connected?
Language: English (French available)
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Format/size: pdf (63K - Burma extract; 1.6MB - full report))
Alternate URLs: http://viewsdesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Internet-Enemies_2011.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 September 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period 7-21 November 2010 by Burmese media in exile and private media subject to censorship restrictions
Date of publication: 22 February 2011
Description/subject: Political subjects, politicians (Space/Time & Tone of the Coverage): "Voice Journal" newspaper (also 1 September-25 October, 2010); Democratic Voice of Burma TV, radio & website; "The Irrawaddy" website, "Mizzima" website;
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period 7-21 November 2010 by Burmese State-sponsored media
Date of publication: 22 February 2011
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage): MYANMAR TV, MYAWADDY TV... Political subjects and politicians (Space & Tone of the Coverage): KYAYMON (The Mirror), MYANMAR AHLIN (New Light of Myanmar)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (747MB)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Monitoring of the post-Election media coverage of Burmese political actors, 7–21 November 2010: Report No. 3
Date of publication: 22 February 2011
Description/subject: Conclusion: "The previous monitoring reports reflecting the period prior to the elections noted that the statecontrolled media in Burma act as a mouthpiece of the ruling powers and do not follow any professional journalistic standards. This report which covers the the period of two weeks after the e-day showed that the general trends in the state media coverage identified in the previous reports remain unchanged. While the media coverage in state controlled outlets focused on election, its coverage was narrow and lacked any analytical or critical views of the process. Clear bias in favor of state officials and incumbents, compounded by a complete lack of any critical coverage of authorities and a lack of coverage of opposition views characterized the coverage offered by the Burmese state media. The coverage which the release of NLD leader got in state media was extremely limited and insignificant in comparison with the extent of presentation of the authorities. The exile media offered diverse picture of political actors and gave large attention to the NLD leader after she was released from her house arrest; the NLD was a dominant political subject presented in the exile media. In this regards the elections were overshadowed by the sudden presence of the NLD leader in Burmese political life and the NLD, while actively boycotting elections, dominated the post election coverage of exile media"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (76K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Burmese media combating censorship
Date of publication: 22 December 2010
Description/subject: "Despite many difficulties, Burmese journalists inside Burma and abroad have in recent weeks covered two events of great importance for the country: the 7 November general elections and Aung San Suu Kyi’s release six days later. The military authorities sent contradictory signals about their intentions as regards media freedom. The undemocratic elections were marked by censorship, arrests of journalists and other obstacles, but Burmese newspapers were able to interview the various candidates during the campaign. The privately-owned media and foreign correspondents were initially allowed to talk about Suu Kyi’s release, until more than 10 publications were disciplined by the Press Scrutiny Board and the surveillance of foreign reporters was stepped up. The military junta and the members of the newly-elected parliament can now choose either to pursue the repressive policies or to initiate a process in which more space is given to basic freedoms. We urge the Burmese authorities to seize the opportunity to respond to the various calls from neighbouring countries and ASEAN ’s secretary general for more freedom of expression. The international community must also press the authorities to show more tolerance and must support the media inside and outside the country that are trying to push back censorship. With the help of its partner organization, the Burma Media Association, Reporters Without Borders followed the work of the Burmese press and foreign reporters during this historic month of November. A Reporters Without Borders representative went to Burma before the elections to evaluate the situation. Despite the censorship, surveillance and obstruction, the Burmese media managed to offer their readers, listeners and viewers a variety of reports and analyses that has been without precedent since the 1990 elections. Reporters Without Borders also wanted to learn more about the impact in Burma of the so-called exile media such as Democratic Voice of Burma. A poll and a survey recently carried out in Burma confirm the popularity of the radio and TV stations that broadcast in Burmese from abroad. In the poll, 2,950 people in eight provinces were questioned about how they get their news..."
Language: English, Francais, French
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB); html
Alternate URLs: http://fr.rsf.org/birmanie-rapport-birmanie-elections-aung-san-suu-kyi-22-12-2010,39120.html
http://en.rsf.org/burma-burmese-media-combating-censorship-22-12-2010,39134.html
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2010


Title: OpenNet Initiative Burma (Myanmar) Country Profile (2010)
Date of publication: 22 December 2010
Description/subject: "Despite very low connectivity, Internet users in Burma have managed to communicate valuable information to the outside world during explosive political events. The Burmese military government continues to enforce stringent overall access restrictions, the most extreme of which occurred during the complete shutdown of the Internet in Burma in September and October 2007. On top of these barriers to access, the government also polices Internet content through one of the most severe regimes of information control in the world..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: OpenNet Initiative
Format/size: pdf (133K)
Alternate URLs: http://opennet.net/research/profiles/burma
Date of entry/update: 16 September 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period 1 September-25 October 2010 by Burmese media in exile and private media subject to censorship restrictions
Date of publication: 05 November 2010
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage): Democratic Voice of Burma TV, radio, website; "Eleven" newspaper; "Myanmar Times" and "Voice" Journal
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period 1 September-25 October 2010 by Burmese State-sponsored media
Date of publication: 05 November 2010
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage): MYANMAR TV, MYAWADDY TV... Political subjects and politicians (Space & Tone of the Coverage): KYAYMON (The Mirror), MYANMAR AHLIN (New Light of Myanmar)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (691K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Monitoring of the media coverage prior to 7 November elections in Burma. Report No. 2 (1 September–25 October 2010)
Date of publication: 05 November 2010
Description/subject: Conclusion: "The three months of monitoring revealed that monitored state-controlled media in Burma do not follow any professional journalistic standards, but only serve as a mouthpiece of the ruling powers. Plain bias in favor of state officials and incumbents and no reflection of opposing or critical views in state-controlled media was observed during the entire three-month monitoring period. In the period preceding the elections, the main news programs of the state-controlled TV channels were showing only the top state officials and completely ignored any other stakeholders. They offered an exceptionally limited range of diversity of political actors, with any other political subjects having virtually no access to the country’s most important sources of information. It is also of concern that these disturbing trends in the way the Burmese state-controlled media cover political entities are not result of short-term anomalies, but genuine trends in the Burmese media. These negative trends are to some extent meliorated by the exile media which do offer a diverse range of views, with the main opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party National League for Democracy getting the most significant coverage. However, the potential geographical coverage of the exile media, and thus their accessibility to Burmese population is much lower than that of the state-controlled media in Burma. Overall, election contestants were allowed only very restricted access to the media and were prevented from fully enjoying their right of freedom of expression. The complete lack by the media in Burma of any independent and objective reporting limited the voters’ access to a broad range of information which would enable them to make an informed choice at the ballot box."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (104K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: National Web portal - development or repression?
Date of publication: November 2010
Description/subject: Conclusion: "It is expected that the Yatanarpon Myanmar National Web Portal will provide faster bandwidth and improved Web services to Burmese Internet users. However, according to the current setup, only users from the government ministries, especially those from the Ministry of Defence, will enjoy faster Internet connection and consequently better Web services. The FTTH high-tech communication system is an impressive development compared with the previous system. It can also be assumed that the new system will cost more. However, given the low per capita income in Burma, only a tiny fraction of the public will be able to enjoy the FTTH system. The segregated nature of the new ISP system would also allow the authorities to shut down the civilian ISP without affecting the two other ISPs that serve the government and the military. The authorities are likely to use that opportunity to stifle freedom of press and expression. The new system also grants the military exclusive control over the Hantharwaddy National Gateway. The military is therefore now in a position to spy on all Burmese citizens – civilians, soldiers and government service personnel."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reporters Without Borders, Burma Media Association
Format/size: pdf (643K - OBL version; 1.9MB, original)
Alternate URLs: http://en.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/rap_birmanie-2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2011


Title: Charts of coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period August 4-31 2010 by broadcasters inside Burma
Date of publication: 15 October 2010
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage): Myanmar TV, Myawaddy TV, August 4-31, 2010
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (448K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period August 5-31 2010 by Burmese media in exile
Date of publication: 15 October 2010
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians: Coveraqe by the Democratic Voice of Burma (TV, Radio, Website)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (816K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Charts of the coverage of political subjects and politicians over the period August 5-31 2010 by newspapers inside Burma
Date of publication: 15 October 2010
Description/subject: Political subjects and politicians (Time & Tone of the Coverage) by KYAYMON (The Mirror), MYANMAR AHLIN (New Light of Myanmar)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (319K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Monitoring of the media coverage prior to 7 November elections in Burma. Report No. 1 (August 2010)
Date of publication: 15 October 2010
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Data from the first month of monitoring reveal that monitored state-controlled media in Burma do not follow any journalistic standards, but only serve as a mouthpiece of the ruling powers. With less than two months before elections, the main news programs of state-controlled TV channels have only shown the three top state officials and completely ignored any other stakeholders. This is an exceptionally limited range of diversity of political actors, with all other political forces having virtually no access to the country’s most important sources of information. It is also of concern that these disturbing trends in the way the Burmese state-controlled media cover political entities are not result of short-term anomalies, but genuine trends in the Burmese media. These negative trends are to some extent meliorated by the exile media which do offer a diverse range of views, with the main opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party National League for Democracy, getting the most significant coverage. However, the potential geographical coverage of the exile media is much less than that of the state-controlled media in Burma. As such, it is highly questionable whether citizens will receive ample information to be able to make a qualified choice at the ballot box."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Memo98
Format/size: pdf (106K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2011


Title: Enemies of the Internet (2010)
Date of publication: 12 March 2010
Description/subject: Burma section plus full report (see Alternate link) http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=article&id_article=19603
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reporters Sans Frontieres - Reporters Without Borders
Format/size: pdf (62K - Burma section; 1.14MB - full report)
Alternate URLs: http://en.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/Internet_enemies.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2010


Title: The Coming Cyber War
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: The Burmese generals are moving to take control of the information superhighway as they gear up for a cyber war with dissidents
Author/creator: Wai Moe, David Paquette
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17923
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 13: Freedom of Opinion, Expression and the Press
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "... As in years past, freedom of expression in the arts was met with stringent censorship. The regime imprisoned poet Saw Wai for publishing a Valentine’s Day poem with a hidden message denouncing General Than Shwe. The editor of the magazine Cherry, Htay Aung, was dismissed for publishing a poem about the ancient history of Depayin that could have been construed as a reference to the 2003 Depayin Massacre, which targeted National League for Democracy (NLD) leaders and supporters. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) censorship board also banned popular American film, Rambo, which denounced the violence of the regime. The Internet, televised media, and printed press also continued to be strictly censored throughout 2008. During Cyclone Nargis and in its aftermath, the regime prevented the unaffected regions of the country from obtaining accurate information on the destruction and humanitarian crisis. The SPDC not only restricted access to the cyclone hit regions, banning the use of cameras or video recorders, but they also limited the print media to releasing positive images of the regime handing out food and supplies and providing shelter. While the regime has always censored access to the Internet, for the first time in 2008, authorities arrested blogger Nay Phone Latt for his reporting on the September 2007 Saffron Revolution. In November of 2008, he received a sentence of 20 and half years in prison. All media continued to be subject to the publishing guidelines of the Press Scrutiny Board. Publishers and artists must submit their work to the censorship board in advance of dissemination and then wait for comments and exclusions. Once it has been reworked, the final product must be approved a second time by the board, before it goes to the public. Such a lengthy process has made self-censorship the more convenient option amongst weekly news journals. It has also prevented the immediate release of relevant information, as was the case with delayed coverage of the cyclone and referendum. Understandably, the Burmese public have turned to the internet and international media sources for information on what is happening inside Burma as an alternative to junta mouthpieces such as the Myanmarhlaing, and the Mirror. Politically, the regime forced the entire eligible voting population of Burma to participate in a tightly controlled and engineered referendum to approve a draft constitution that was the product of a 14-year long, undemocratic National Convention. None of the requirements for free and fair voting, including freedom to vote in privacy; availability of information related to the issues, freedom from intimidation or bribery, and independent monitoring, were ensured by the regime during the referendum process. Instead, individuals met with forced advance voting, threats, and a new Referendum Law for the Approval of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (issued on 26 February 2008), which prevented any speech against the referendum or dissemination of political information.3 The end of the year saw the regime preparing for the next step in the seven-step roadmap to democracy, national elections in 2010. Evidence to date suggests that the campaigns and election will be conducted under similarly repressive conditions as those that marred the referendum on the draft constitution, eventually leading to the SPDC's goal of a transition to a ‘disciplined democracy’..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (858K)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2009


Title: Suppressed
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: "Intimidation, arrests and draconian prison sentences reached new heights in a media crackdown in Burma last year... JOURNALISTS in Burma faced Orwellian-type scrutiny and were subjected to imprisonment and intimidation throughout 2008, while exiled Burmese media groups were also attacked—via their computers...."
Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 February 2009


Title: Burmese Journalist Wins Major International Press Award
Date of publication: November 2008
Description/subject: A Burmese journalist who works for The Associated Press has received the 2008 Journalism and Courage Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation... "The journalist, Aye Aye Win, has worked as a reporter in Burma for nearly 20 years—a “risky business,” she said in a written acceptance speech. Only a free press could guarantee a free society, she said..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2008


Title: Why Independent Media Matters in Burma
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: "BURMA'S rulers and democratic opposition forces have limited experience with a free and independent media. And this is definitely a concern when contemplating a future democratic Burma..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: Englsh
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Burma: The Censored Land
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "Burma’s scribes use old ruses and new technology to stay true to their word and dodge the junta’s efforts to censor freedom of expression... Burma’s censorship board, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, continues to face new challenges in its never-ending efforts to sanitize the country’s print media. Armed with magnifying glasses and mirrors, the censors are on a mission to root out hidden political messages in poems, novels, stories and advertisements. Burma has a well-earned reputation as “an enemy of the press,” but Burmese writers say they are undaunted by the ruling regime’s efforts to muzzle free expression. Censors or no censors, they say, writers of real mettle will always find creative ways to give voice to their true feelings..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Hard News - A day in the life of a Rangoon journalist
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "...When monks took to the streets in September, our editor—who also owned the publication—allowed us to go and cover the events, but we were never able to write about them. I noticed that many Burmese reporters established contacts with international and exile media groups. There was no satellite TV receiver in our office, either. When we originally asked the editor to install one, so that we could watch coverage of the demonstrations, he surprisingly agreed. But when the shooting began he changed his mind and banned us from going into the streets or having any contact with the demonstrating monks. “You really don’t want to see the news, that’s why I won’t install a receiver,” he said. “The uprising will be over in two or three days, anyway,” he said. He was right—the uprising was short-lived. The satellite dish never was installed. In our newsroom, only the management desk and the copy-typists worked with computers. We reporters and editors had to write our stories by hand. They were then edited and passed on to the typists. The printouts were given back to us to be checked for spelling. Frequent power cuts interrupted the work routine. We had our own generator, but it sat outside our office and when it was running the heat and noise were unbearable..."
Author/creator: Aye Chan Myate
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Mission: To Tell the Truth
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "Burma’s exiled media took center stage during the September uprising. Now they must not rest on their laurels... If the Burmese people are ready for change, then we must ask whether the exiled Burmese media is ready for change. The answer, I believe, should be a resounding “Yes!” Burma enjoyed perhaps the liveliest free press in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 60s. Burma’s first constitution in 1947 guaranteed citizens the right to express their opinions and convictions. Unfortunately, the freedoms of expression and media were short-lived in Burma. The first assault on journalism came soon after the military coup in 1962. Press freedom gradually disintegrated thereafter, truncated by Gen Ne Win’s socialist regime. Newspapers were nationalized and many foreign news agencies were asked to pack their bags. Journalists and editors found themselves in prison. During the 1980s, all forms of public expression and publications had to pass through Burma’s notorious censorhip board, now known as the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, even though Burma’s second constitution, drawn up in 1974, guaranteed freedom of expression..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: The Cyber Dissident
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "Burma’s generals may have underestimated the power of the Internet during the 2007 uprising, but they are now playing catch-up... The Burmese military government has found a new enemy—the growing number of “cyber dissidents” who are gaining popularity both inside and outside the country. The bad news is that the junta usually finds a way of defeating each new enemy..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Attacks on the Press 2007: Burma
Date of publication: 05 February 2008
Description/subject: Burmese journalists came under heavy assault in August and September when covering pro-democracy street protests and the military government’s retaliatory crackdown, marking significant deterioration in what was already one of the world’s most repressive media environments. The government banned coverage of the uprising and sought to isolate the nation by impeding Internet and phone service. Local and citizen journalists, however, proved innovative and persistent in circumventing the government’s electronic blockade.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 December 2010


Title: Burma VJ - reporting from a closed country (video)
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: 84 MINUTES RUNNING TIME. TRAILER PLUS 9 PARTS. FOR PARTS 1-9, CLICK ON ALTERNATE LINKS, BELOW, OR IN RIGHT HAND COLUMN OF YOUTUBE PAGE..."Armed with small handycams undercover Video Journalists in Burma keep up the flow of news from their closed country despite risking torture and life in jail. Their material is smuggled out of Burma and broadcast back via satellite. Joshua, age 27, becomes tactical leader of a group of reporters, as Buddhist monks in September 2007 lead a massive uprising. Foreign TV crews are banned from the country, so its left to Joshua and his crew to keep the revolution alive on TV screens all over. As government intelligence understands the power of the camera, the VJs become their prime target."
Author/creator: ANDERS OËœSTERGAARD, Khin Maung Win et al
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: Magic Hour Films
Format/size: Adobe Flash Player (84 minutes playing time)
Alternate URLs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6DfCLqLVUg&feature=related (pt I)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc4tnvuFoPc&feature=related (pt II)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-i9V2Qpzqw&feature=related (pt III)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsnoYEthIb8&feature=related (pt IV)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOnhJ-yY824&feature=related (pt V)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtWrYfl2pb0&feature=related (pt VI)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s94tsVAZuY&feature=related (pt VII)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wLaOqrAdpM&feature=related (pt VIII)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vaXSwWF6aM&feature=related (pt IX - final)
http://burmavjmovie.com/
Date of entry/update: 25 December 2009


Title: "Pulling the Plug - A Technical Review of the Internet Shutdown in Burma
Date of publication: 23 October 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This bulletin examines the role of information technology, citizen journalists, and bloggers in Burma and presents a technical analysis of the abrupt shutdown of Internet connectivity by the Burmese government on September 29, 2007, following its violent crackdown on protesters there. Completely cutting international Internet links is rare. Nepal, which severed all international Internet connections when the King declared martial law in February 2005, is the only other state to take such drastic action. Although extreme, the measures taken by the Burmese government to limit citizens' use of the Internet during this crisis are consistent with previous OpenNet Initiative (ONI) findings in Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and Tajikistan, where authorities controlled access to communication technologies as a way to limit social mobilization around key political events. What makes the Burmese junta stand out, however, is its apparent goal of also preventing information from reaching a wider international audience. The shutdown of Internet connectivity was precipitated by its use by citizens to send photographs, updates and videos that documented the violent suppression of protests in Burma, information that contributed to widespread international condemnation of the Burmese military rulers' gross violations of human rights. We examine the impact of communication technology in shaping these key political events in Burma, the limitations of these tools, and the prospects for the next round of information wars".
Language: English
Source/publisher: "OpenNet Initiative Bulletin"
Format/size: pdf (623K)
Alternate URLs: http://opennet.net/sites/opennet.net/files/ONI_Bulletin_Burma_2007.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2007


Title: OpenNet Initiative Burma (Myanmar) Country Profile 2007
Date of publication: 10 May 2007
Description/subject: Myanmar’s authoritarian military junta is slowly expanding access to the Internet while maintaining one of the world’s most restrictive systems of control. Despite the fact that less than 1 percent of Myanmar access the Internet, the government has targeted online independent media and dissent with the same commitment it has demonstrated to stifling traditional media and voices for reform.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Opennet Initiative
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://opennet.net/research/profiles/burma
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2009


Title: Laughing All the Way to Prison
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: Censors fail to gag popular Burmese comedian... "Zarganar, the former dental surgery student who became one of Burma’s best-loved comedians and a mordant satirist, has had his teeth pulled by the censors. “No more public performances,” they told him last month, prompting threats by his colleagues—including well-known actors and directors—to cease production work in a display of sympathy. The ban extends to all news about Zarganar in the Burmese press. The Orwellian regime has effectively made him a “non-person.” Zarganar’s gag slipped, however, when The Irrawaddy contacted him by telephone at his Rangoon home. The irrepressible comedian chuckled as he talked about the regime’s latest attempt to silence him. It was an interview in April with the BBC’s Burmese service that sparked the latest ban, Zarganar said. He had criticized official regulations that he said robbed Burma’s water festival of much of its traditions..."
Author/creator: Ko Thet
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 December 2006


Title: Blacked Out
Date of publication: April 2006
Description/subject: Reading between the lines of Burmaâ's censored press... "Power shortages and blackouts are nothing new in Burma. Nor are news blackouts... In early February, authorities detected bird flu in Sagaing and Mandalay divisions but the news didn't appear in state-run newspapers or privately-run journals until the middle of March. The government's mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar, waited until March 16 to report the outbreak. Why do the authorities wait so long to inform the public of such an important development that directly affects them? The reason for this particularly cynical form of censorship has to be the official fear of causing a panic. Yet fears of a serious health hazard aren't the only reason for Burmese to stay glued to the broadcasts of shortwave radio stations beamed from overseas. The plain fact is that most Burmese have no clue what is happening in their own country. Ironically, the latest clampdown occurs as optimism surfaces in Rangoon media circles about what some editors and journalists see as a relaxation of censorship regulations..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: Kyaw Hsan: Friend or Enemy of the Press?
Date of publication: April 2006
Description/subject: Burmese Information Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan may appear outwardly to be a friend of the local press. But he also carries a big stick... "Burmese Minister of Information Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan seems to have a very busy schedule these days. But helping to channel real information to the Burmese masses doesn't seem to be his main concern. If anything, it is to coax Burma's tame media to wean readers and viewers away from news and onto entertainment, sport and soap operas..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: Online Censorship in Burma: A Foreign Affair
Date of publication: November 2005
Description/subject: Overseas IT firms offer Burma’s government added protection against online activism... "Of the 1,100 prisoners of conscience currently languishing in jails throughout Burma, not one is a cyber-dissident. No organization contacted by The Irrawaddy has any record of Burma’s military government detaining or sentencing a single Burmese citizen because of their activities on the worldwide web. Given Burma’s recent efforts to get its hands on the most advanced security and spying software available, however, that statistic may be about to change. Companies and IT specialists from the US, Canada, Britain, Thailand and Singapore are now offering their wares to the Burmese government as it strives to further secure the net, meaning those that have been bypassing the country’s filtering system thus far may be in for a nasty surprise..."
Author/creator: Clive Parker
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Internet Filtering in Burma in 2005: A Country Study
Date of publication: 12 October 2005
Description/subject: "Burma, also known as Myanmar, implements one of the world’s most restrictive regimes of Internet control. These on-line restrictions buttress off-line regulation of speech implemented by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), a group of military officials who maintain authoritarian rule over the state. Burma’s system combines broad, vague laws of long standing with harsh penalties. Internet access is costly and the state uses software-based filtering techniques to limit significantly the materials Burma’s citizens can access on-line. Most dial-up Internet accounts provide access only to the limited Myanmar Internet, not to the global network that most people around the world can access. The state maintains the capability to conduct surveillance of communication methods such as e-mail, and to block users from viewing Web sites of political opposition groups, organizations working for democratic change in Burma, and pornographic material. As compared to states elsewhere around the world, Burma’s censorship regime is among the most extensive. The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) tested its global list of Web sites and a high-impact list of sites with material known to be sensitive to the Burmese state. On the global list, we found nearly 11% of pages tested blocked, with a high level of filtering of e-mail service provider sites (85%) and pornographic sites (65%). The state also blocked significant numbers of gambling (24%), group Web sites (18%), and free Web space sites (18%). On our high impact list of sites with content known to be sensitive to the Burmese state, we found 84% of sites blocked, including nearly all political opposition and pro-democracy pages tested. These findings align with Burma’s well-documented efforts to monitor e-mail communication by its citizens and to control political dissent and opposition movements. Burma’s commitment to regulating Internet content through technical methods is demonstrated by its purchase and ongoing implementation of filtering software from the U.S. company Fortinet. Our research suggests that Burma continues to seek to refine its censorship regime. Burma’s system of Internet control shows no signs of lessening, and may worsen as it moves to a more sophisticated software product and as the state moves to tighten on-line restrictions."
Language: English
Source/publisher: OpenNet Initiative
Format/size: pdf (416K)
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2005


Title: Sign of the Times
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: Latest Myanmar Times setback highlights increased junta interference... "One year ago the Myanmar Times might have been forgiven for feeling optimistic. The paper was about to relocate to bigger premises in downtown Rangoon to accommodate a swelling team of reporters, while a printing press was making its way from New Zealand that would allow Editor-in-Chief Ross Dunkley and his team to publish in-house for the first time. That was, however, before Monday, October 18, 2004—the day former prime minister and head of Military Intelligence Gen Khin Nyunt was arrested for corruption. Dunkley’s comment to Asiaweek shortly after he launched his English-language weekly in 2001 that “in some ways we are a litmus test to an opening up process” has this year proven to be prophetic. The sentencing of Deputy CEO Sonny Swe and his father Brig-Gen Thein Swe—formerly of MI and the Myanmar Times’ chief censor until Khin Nyunt’s ouster—to 14 and 152 years in prison respectively for corruption and bypassing the official censorship process—was merely the first setback. Whereas the newspaper could occasionally print articles and even pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2002 when the political situation was less tense, in the past 12 months the Myanmar Times has been “asked” to run stories provided by the Ministry of Information almost every week..."
Author/creator: Clive Parker
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: Keeping the Censors Sweet
Date of publication: 17 August 2005
Description/subject: Bribery is a part of everyday life for Burma’s press... "From the outside, the three-story building at number six is as nondescript as the other houses and businesses on Wingabar Road just outside downtown Rangoon. Inside, however, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division headquarters stands out from the majority of the capital’s Spartan offices and government departments because of its abundant furniture and electrical appliances. “The PSRD office is lavishly decorated, even the toilet,” said one regular visitor, a journalist who requested anonymity. A closer look at the DVD players, televisions, stereos and furniture that fill the building reveals small identification tags, each with the name of a leading Burma publication. The labels allow Burma’s censorship board to keep track of the journals that have paid up in full—each appliance and piece of furniture is a mandatory bribe..."
Author/creator: Clive Parker
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2010


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2004: Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and the Press
Date of publication: August 2005
Description/subject: SPDC Laws Restricting Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and the Press:- The Official Secrets Act 1923; The Burma Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933; Section 122, Penal Code of Burma; The Law Protecting the Peaceful and Systematic Transfer of State Responsibility and the Successful Performance of the Functions of the National Convention against Disturbances and Oppositions; Emergency Provisions Act 1950; The Printers and Publishers Registration Law 1962; State Protection Law 1975 (also known as the "Law to Safeguard the State from the Dangers of Destructive Elements"); The Television and Video Law; The Motion Picture Law; The Computer Science Development Law... The National Convention: Increased Control Over Expression... State of Freedom of the Press in 2004:- Khin Nyunt’s arrest and freedom of the press; Hiding the impact of the tsunami; Delay in reporting on Arakan cyclone; Arrested for reporting on Myitkyina flood; Journalists forced to report on Min Ko Naing’s release; Media informants fear reprisal; Sports editor’s death sentence commuted... The State of Publications in 2004... Journalists Freed in 2004... Continuing Detention of Journalists:- U Win Tin; Sein Hla Oo; Aung Htun and Tha Ban; Aung Pwint and Thaung Tun; Khin Maung Win; Monywa Aung-Shin... Academic Freedom; Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression:- Students imprisoned for leaflets; Arrested for peaceful political demonstration; NLD members arrested for distributing pamphlets; Continued detention of monks and nuns; Teashop fined for playing BBC; SPDC infiltration of websites... Freedom of Expression in the Arts:- Artists forced to perform in support of the SPD; Censorship of Film and Television and Restrictions on Actors; Censorship of Music and Musicians; Censorship of Painting, Photography, Sculpture, other Visual Arts, and Performance Art... Control of Computer Technology and Communications:-Telecommunications in Burma; The Internet and Electronic Mail in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Light Fading at Myanmar Times
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: Rangoon-based journal loses special privileges... "With the help of Burma’s spooks, Australian Ross Dunkley launched the colorful Myanmar Times in 2000. Full of optimism and enthusiasm, he claimed that he saw a greater openness in the country and set out to push the envelope. ROSS DUNKLEY: Feeling the heat Dunkley claimed that his weekly newspaper was exercising responsible journalism in order to create a more favorable environment for all the media in Burma. A nice idea, but local reporters and editors didn’t agree. They saw Dunkley as merely the junta’s apologist, saying he was committed to promoting the cause of Gen Khin Nyunt and military intelligence rather than any grand notions of press freedom. The paper had its own censorship board com"prising Brig-Gen Thein Swe and other ministers who were close allies of Khin Nyunt. Without having to pass through the usual bureaucratic channels, the special censorship board would give the paper quick approval. This set The Myanmar Times head and shoulders above other Rangoon publications, granting it special dispensation to cover sensitive domestic issues such as the status of Aung San Suu Kyi and the visits of UN special investigators to the country. Such privileges were never offered to the local press. But Dunkley’s mission is now in doubt. After a change of guard at the top, The Myanmar Times can no longer obtain “special privilege” status from the authorities. With the demise of military intelligence and Gen Khin Nyunt, Dunkley’s future is looking somewhat dim. Several media observers have even predicted that The Myanmar Times will be shut down. Well, that’s not happened yet, but the paper is in trouble..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2005


Title: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre - Censors signal bleak prospects for free press
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: "The popular Burmese lifestyle magazine Han Thit is missing from the newsstands this month. Nor will it appear in April. The magazine was suspended by the authorities for two months. The reason? It carried a restaurant’s advertisement of a St. Valentine’s Day celebration. No Valentine cards or red roses then for the regime bureaucrats responsible for such daft decisions. Journalists, editors and publishers are braced for even more inexplicable actions against the media as a new censorship policy takes shape following last October’s purge. Burma’s police chief Brig-Gen Khin Yi being mobbed by reporters Media issues surfaced at the National Convention in March, although the discussions yielded no hope for possible relaxation of restrictions on press freedom. According to a report by the official mouthpiece The New Light of Myanmar, it was agreed at the National Convention session that “NGO- and privately-owned media” would emerge “sooner or later.” So far so good, but then came the crunch: “Permission will be granted to the media that keep their dignity. Therefore, action will have to be taken against those who breach the rules. And consequently, it is necessary to enact laws in connection with the media.”..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No.3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2005


Title: OBSTACLES TO INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN BURMA
Date of publication: 11 December 2003
Description/subject: "The major problems that exist in Burma today can be traced to the formation of the Union of Burma when a diverse group of indigenous peoples agreed to work together in peace before they were freed from colonial rule. But just months after leaders of the majority Burman and the Shan, Chin, Kachin and Karenni nationalities signed the Panglong Agreement on February 12, 1947, General Aung San (father of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi) was assassinated and their hopes of establishing a Federal Union were dashed. When Burma gained independence from Britain in 1948, the government of U Nu, who had succeeded General Aung San, was installed. Almost immediately, the rights of the minority ethnic nationalities were rejected and civil war broke out. As a result of the denial of basic freedoms for the ethnic nationalities and the right to self-determination previously agreed upon, this civil war has dragged on for half a century and Burma has become one of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) in the world. To this day the Burman military government blames the ethnic nationalities for the country’s failure to develop on a par with other countries of Southeast Asia..."
Author/creator: Cham Toik
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, December 8-11, 2003
Format/size: html (33K)
Date of entry/update: 11 December 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-03: Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and the Press
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "Freedoms of opinion, expression, and the press have been virtually non-existent in Burma since the military coup of 1988. The Press Scrutiny Board (PSB), a division of the powerful Ministry of Information, scrutinizes every publication for anything perceived as ‘anti-government.’ Similar censorship boards retain tight control over art, music, film, performance, and all other forms of artistic expression. All authors, publishers, journalists and poets must submit a personal biography to the board of literary censorship. The board then investigates to find out if these individuals have any association to opposition political parties or connections to other people or groups deemed threatening by the regime. Anyone suspected or proved to have ‘undesirable’ connections is placed on a blacklist and their work is not allowed to be published. People’s access to information in Burma is officially limited to one main state run news agency that disseminates information to government controlled newspapers, radio, and television stations. Burma’s four daily newspapers are all published by the News and Periodicals Enterprise (NPE), a division of the Information Ministry. While currently there are approximately 50 private weekly and monthly magazines published in Rangoon, all are kept under close scrutiny by the regime. Burmese people are well aware that much of the news from official sources is propaganda, and to find out what is really happening in their own country and the rest of the world they must depend on sources of information outlawed by the regime..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 November 2003


Title: Fighting Words
Date of publication: July 2003
Description/subject: "Steeped in tradition and stifled by repression, Burma’s literary culture remains defiant despite its seeming silence...Journalists in Rangoon say a combination of factors have pushed the works of revolutionary writers like Bamaw Tin Aung and Bohmu Chit Kaung, which once shaped the political ideologies of Burma’s youth, to the back bins, while at the same time putting a stress on the country’s rich literary tradition. Due to the perils of being associated with politics in Burma, many young people now eschew the sensitive topic for fear of retribution and imprisonment. This same fear has resulted in even fewer people pursuing writing careers, as the lives of writers are also heavily scrutinized. Writers, publishers and bookstore owners say they impose strict self-censorship on themselves in order to stay out of trouble...Despite the pressures facing writers in Burma today, nobody in Rangoon feels that the country’s rich literary tradition is facing extinction. The resiliency of the Burmese spirit can be seen as writers continue to put pen to paper even in the knowledge that they face potential imprisonment and a lifetime of harassment..."
Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2003


Title: Überwachung der Post in Myanmar
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "...Der folgende Tex ist eine Zusammenstellung der wenigen Fetzen an Informationen, die ich zu diesem Thema zusammtragen konnte. Ich schreibe dies als Philatelist und Posthistoriker,dennoch dürfte dies auf weiteres Inter- esse stoßen...."
Author/creator: „Pyinsa Yupa“ , Deutsch von Heiko Schäfer
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Burma & Myanmar philately!
Format/size: pdf (289K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


Title: The Self-Conscious Censor: Censorship in Burma under the British, 1900_1939
Date of publication: 2003
Description/subject: It is often assumed that censorship was not used to any great degree by British authorities in Burma. Yet, by looking at the way the British colonial government reacted to a variety of media including traditional Burmese drama, western blockbuster movies, and Burmese political pamphlets agitating against colonial rule, it is possible to see that censorship was very much a part of the British administration. British authorities censored pamphlets, books, dramas, and movies not only to contain political thought contrary to colonialism, but also to control the image of British officials as seen in the eyes of the Burmese.
Author/creator: Emma Larkin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Studies" Vol. 8, 2003
Format/size: pdf (627K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.niu.edu/burma/publications/jbs/vol8/Abstract2_ClymerOpt.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2009


Title: Pressing Forward: Media in Exile
Date of publication: November 2002
Description/subject: "Burma�s emerging media groups in exile are trying to shed political affiliations and overcome financial limitations... "All we want is to provide unbiased and accurate information about our country," says Cham Toik, editor of Kao Wao, an ethnic Mon news group based in Thailand. While media groups inside Burma function in a culture of draconian censorship and operate in constant fear of imprisonment for crossing the authorities, emerging media groups in exile such as Kao Wao are generally free to publish whatever they wish without persecution. The obstacles facing these groups are of a different kind..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe and Naw Seng
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" vol 10, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and the Press
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Freedoms of opinion, expression, and the press have been virtually non-existent in Burma since the military coup of 1988. The Press Scrutiny Board (PSB), a division of the powerful Ministry of Information, scrutinizes every publication for anything perceived as ‘anti-government.’ Similar censorship boards retain tight control over art, music, film, performance, and all other forms of artistic expression. All authors, publishers, journalists and poets must submit a personal biography to the board of literary censorship. The board then investigates to find out if these individuals have any association to opposition political parties or connections to other people or groups deemed threatening by the regime. Anyone suspected or proved to have ‘undesirable’ connections is placed on a blacklist and their work is not allowed to be published..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Moustache Mayhem
Date of publication: May 2002
Description/subject: "Once imprisoned and now blacklisted by the government, the Moustache Brothers� comedy troupe continues to push the country�s political envelope. Working in the gravel yard was never supposed to be a part of life for Burma�s notorious Moustache Brothers comedy troupe. But on January 7, 1996, two of its members�U Par Par Lay and Lu Zaw�were arrested in Mandalay, a day after delivering a series of politically sensitive jokes during an Independence Day performance at Aung San Suu Kyi�s house in Rangoon. They were initially sentenced to seven years in prison, with the first stop being the distant Kyein Kran Ka Hard Labor Camp in northern Burma�s Kachin State. Cut off from their family back home, the two cousins began their five-and-a-half arduous years in Burma�s penal system before being released in July 2001..."
Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 4, May 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Under Pressure: How Burmese journalism survives in one of the world's most repressive regimes
Date of publication: 14 February 2002
Description/subject: "RangoonThe most surprising thing about the Burmese press is that it still exists. Governed repressively since 1962 and currently under military rule, Burma is by far the most information-starved country in Southeast Asia. And yet the press refuses to die. The ruling junta enforces obligatory and capricious censorship at every turn. A host of topics are off-limits, from heavy rainstorms to local politics, losing soccer matches to details of the World Trade Center attacks. But there is a strong literary tradition in Burma, and many living journalists and writers remember past freedoms and dream of better days to come..."
Author/creator: A. Lin Neumann
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists (Briefings: Press Freedom Reports from Around the World)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma’s Privileged Pressman
Date of publication: January 2002
Description/subject: "While other publications labor under draconian press censorship, The Myanmar Times enjoys freedoms few journalists in Burma can even begin to imagine. Relations between Burmese journalists and Ross Dunkley, the editor-in-chief of the Rangoon-based Myanmar Times, have yet to recover since the outspoken Australian issued a harsh criticism of Burmese reporting standards in the middle of last year. Angered by his remarks, journalists contacted by The Irrawaddy complain that Dunkley’s privileged position among pressmen in Burma has completely blinded him to the realities faced by other working journalists..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe and Ko Thet
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Web: A New Window on Burma?
Date of publication: December 2001
Description/subject: "More and more publishers in Burma are putting their magazines online for the world to see; but if the junta has its way, they will remain little more than window dressing... Since late last year, some Burmese monthly magazines and weekly journals have begun launching website versions. This is creating a real stir in the Burmese publishing industry, and attracting a great deal of attention from Burmese living abroad. But despite the immense hopes attached to this recent development, so far most of these new websites have failed to live up to expectations..."
Author/creator: Ko Thet
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Freedom of Opinion, Expression and the Press
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "The freedoms of opinion, expression, and the press are little known in Burma, where any criticism, direct or indirect of the government or government policy is taken as a direct attack against the "stability of the State." ... In the year 2000, Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) again issued a release condemning the junta for depriving the Burmese people of any objective news and violating the rights of Burmese and foreign journalists to practice their profession freely. It said Burma is still the country which is keeping the most journalists in prison... There is only one main government-run news agency in Burma. The three newspapers, and the two radio and television stations feed off the news agency, and together, act as mouthpieces for the junta. Foreign radio broadcasts such as BBC, VOA and DVB are monitored by the MI and some portions of the news are scrambled. The arts also suffer from the heavy-handed and pervasive censorship of the junta, as every image and sentence produced has to be passed by the governments censorship board..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: Yearbook main page: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/yearbooks/Main.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Journalists Beware
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: "Reporting from Burma can be hazardous to your reputation, as a growing roster of foreign journalists is discovering. Burma is not a journalist-friendly country. For foreign journalists, writing about Burma is no easy task, as they are not welcome in this military-ruled country. Many foreign journalists who have been to Burma felt nervous as they learned their activities have been monitored by intelligence officers or informers—and in addition to that, some of them have been harassed. Even after leaving the country, journalists are not safe yet. In Bangkok, Burma’s intelligence officials and their network are believed to follow the activities of journalists and, of course, check what they write in their respective papers, magazines or electronic media. If their report is not satisfactory for the intelligence officials, the journalists could be banned from entering Burma again for years..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 7
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Journalists Beware (in Japanese)
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: "Reporting from Burma can be hazardeous for your reputation, as a growing number of foreign journalists is discovering... Burma has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most mediaphobic nations on earth. But do foreign journalists have anything to fear by dipping into these unfriendly waters? While the greatest risks are borne by Burmese who dare to report the truth, unwitting foreign correspondents face a danger of their own: a loss of credibility. Aung Zaw reports on the perils of "parachute journalism"..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9, No. 7, August-September 2001
Format/size: PDF and HTML
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2010


Title: Mentor and Tormentor
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: "Paw Thit could have taught Kyaw Win much about the meaning of art; instead Burma's best-loved art critic is behind bars, a victim of the system the inscrutable Kyaw Win represents. No Burmese artist or art lover could ever fail to recognize the title of A Quest for Beauty, a celebrated book of art criticism by a writer of rare gifts named Paw Thit. This excellent handbook of Burmese art history, covering every imaginable "ism", has earned the admiration of countless aficionados of the fine arts in Burma. Certainly, a passionate amateur painter like Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, deputy to Military Intelligence (MI) chief Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, could be counted among those who can truly appreciate Paw Thit�s sensitivity to line and color, light and shade, perspective and depth of artistic vision. And if Paw Thit ever had a chance to review Kyaw Win's work on display at the G. V. Gallery, in Rangoon's exclusive Golden Valley suburb, he would no doubt offer words of encouragement to this dedicated dilettante. Cutting a dignified but kindly figure, he might make a critical comparison to the work of U Lun Kywe, Burma's most famous impressionist painter, while acknowledging that Kyaw Win had true talent and an eye for beauty. Sadly, however, this encounter is unlikely to ever take place. For Paw Thit, Burma's most respected art critic, is none other than U Win Tin, a veteran journalist who was once one of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's most valued advisors's role that has cost him his freedom. For a dozen years now, U Win Tin, a.k.a. Paw Thit, has been a political prisoner in Rangoon's infamous Insein Prison. Held in solitary confinement for more than a decade, but unbent in his convictions, he continues to exert inestimable influence on Burma's artistic community..."
Author/creator: San San Tin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A Proposal to Khin Nyunt
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: It was completely pathetic to hear Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt's recent speech in which he claimed that "press freedom" is being granted to an "appropriate degree" in Burma, even though his government is a military regime. His statement revealed once again that the feared intelligence chief is completely deluded, either about the existing press situation in the country, or about the gullibility of Burma's reading public.
Author/creator: Editorial
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: An Auspicious Moment
Date of publication: January 2001
Description/subject: The author, the former editor of the recently banned Thintbawa magazine, pays homage to celebrated poet Tin Moe in this article first published shortly after the latter's release from prison in 1995.
Author/creator: Tin Maung Than. Part One
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The (Martial) Art of Writing
Date of publication: January 2001
Description/subject: "Burmese writers and publishers have become masters of journalistic kungfu, using subtle means to defend their work against the lethal attacks of military censors..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Under a Dark Cloud: Censorship in Burma
Date of publication: January 2001
Description/subject: "Writers and publishers in Burma remain targets of one of the world's most draconian censorship systems. Early one morning in December 1994, a group of Military Intelligence Services (MIS) officers and police surrounded a house in the northern quarter of Mandalay, Burma’s second city. The house was a bookshop called Ottaya Lwinpyin ("Northern Plain"), which belonged to Than Htay. Though they had no search warrant, they broke down the door and searched the whole bookshop. After a comprehensive search, they found a lot of pages that had been torn from books, magazines and periodicals. All the pages contained the slogan of the military regime and an official denunciation of the democratic forces, which must be printed on the first page of all materials published in Burma by order of the military. After the search of his bookshop, Than Htay was arrested and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by a summary court. Now Ko Than Htay is in Mandalay Prison, where he suffers torture and mistreatment like all other political prisoners..."
Author/creator: Aung Din
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Free Burma, Free Media
Date of publication: September 2000
Description/subject: In 1998, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists released a report describing Burma and Indonesia as the two foremost "enemies of the press" in Asia. Since then, Indonesia's mass media has blossomed, thanks to the fall of the Suharto regime. This now leaves Burma with the dubious distinction of being the region's "press enemy number one."
Author/creator: Editorial
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Misinformation Campaign
Date of publication: September 2000
Description/subject: In an effort to discredit foreign-based Burmese-language radio stations and other media outlets critical of Burma's military junta, various agencies under the control of Military Intelligence Services MIS chief Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt are coordinating their efforts to disseminate fabricated news.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9 via Archive.org
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Angst vor dem Internet
Date of publication: 22 January 2000
Description/subject: SPDC politics towards internet use. Birma versucht, sich dem globalen Netz zu ffnen und es politisch an der Kandare zu halten. ber die SPDC-Politik gegenber dem Internet.
Author/creator: Florian Rtzer
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Telepolis magazin der netzkultur
Alternate URLs: Florian Rtzer: Ein Cybercafe ohne Internetzugang vom 26.8.1999 http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/te/5235/1.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Impact of the Internet on Myanmar
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: In the present paper, I explore how the Internet has affected the flow of information between in and outside Myanmar (Burma). I show that there is a strong difference between the way information was presented before and after the introduction of the World Wide Web... I examine two political events in Myanmar connected to student uprisings, in the hope of documenting how the Internet - as an easily researched symbol of modern communications - may be affecting the political strategies of one of the last isolated states.
Author/creator: Viola Krebs
Language: English
Source/publisher: First Monday
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Literary "Gypsy" Leaves Burma
Date of publication: July 1999
Description/subject: The Irrawaddy recently spoke to celebrated author Maung Tha Ya, who recently left Burma after more than a decade of fears that writing anything new would be "like giving the government a noose" to hang him. Noted for his itinerant lifestyle as well as his naturalistic literary style, he told us about his past and his plans for the future.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Acts of Oppression: Censorship and the law in Burma
Date of publication: March 1999
Description/subject: "Freedom of expression has been one of the prime casualties of prolonged military rule in Burma. Since the army first began controlling the levers of state power in 1962, numerous publications have been censored or banned; hundreds of journalists, writers, poets, playwrights and cartoonists, as well as pro-democracy activists have been arrested, detained or sentenced to long prison terms, tortured, ill-treated or otherwise harassed, even killed, and tens of thousands of ordinary people have been punished simply for peacefully expressing their views. The impact has been immense and crippling, reverberating through all aspects of life in Burma and blighting the country?s social, cultural and, particularly, economic development. Years of strong-arm military dictatorship and misrule, buttressed by one of the world?s severest censorship regimes and systematic abuse of human rights, have driven thousands of Burma?s citizens to seek refuge abroad and marked out Burma as a pariah within the international community of nation states..." Contents: I) INTRODUCTION; II) POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL BACKGROUND; III) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW; IV) THE STATE OF THE RULE OF LAW; V) FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ITS PROTECTION IN LAW: (a) The constitutional position; (b) Specific legislative measures: a detailed analysis: 1 The Printers and Publishers Registration Law 1962; 2 Emergency Provisions Act 1950; 3 State Protection Law 1975; 4 The Television and Video Law; 5 The Motion Picture Law; 6 The Computer Science Development Law; 7 The Official Secrets Act 1923; 8 Other Laws. VI) EXTRA-LEGAL DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH. VII) CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
Author/creator: Venkat Iyer
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19 (ISBN 1 902598 04 0)
Format/size: html (102K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-acts-of-oppression.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Attacks on the Press 1999: Burma
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: "Report by the Committee to Protect Journalists" ...... Forcing their citizenry to live behind a wall of repressive ignorance, Burma's military leaders have shown no signs of liberalizing one of the world's harshest regimes.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee to Protect Journalists
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Date of publication: May 1998
Description/subject: Dilemmas of foreign journalists in Burma..."In mid-July 1995, suddenly Rangoon airport was filled with journalists and cameramen all grabbing taxis to 54 University Avenue. They each hoped to be the first to interview Aung San Suu Kyi after her surprise release from house arrest. Expecting praise for setting her free, the Burmese military began giving most journalists, with a few notable exceptions, visas o­n demand. However the regime soon tired of the bad press, and began increasing restrictions again. Journalist visas had to be applied for far in advance, stays were limited to a few days, and more and more journalists’ visa requests were denied with no explanation given..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 6. No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Inked Over, Blotted, Ripped Out..
Date of publication: May 1998
Description/subject: "The blind leading the blind: Censorship keeps the people of Burma in the dark, as the generals remain blithely unaware of the demands of the Information Age. Is journalism in Burma dead? If not, it must be in a coma. In 1987, the publication of a poem which closed with the words, “...gone down is the circumference of the sun,” caught the attention of Burma’s hawk-eyed censors. The sun, or “ne win” in Burmese, sounds much like the name of the then-Chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP), Ne Win. The sentence, according to the censors, implied that “Ne Win had passed away,” and they ordered the line deleted..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol.. 6, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Journalists, Writers and Poets in Burma's Gulag
Date of publication: May 1998
Description/subject: List of Journalists and poets in prison in Burma compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Burma; Information Group, The Nation, Radio Free Asia.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Provision of Explicit Guidelines for Literature and the Media - 1975
Date of publication: May 1998
Description/subject: "In an attempt to reduce the uncertainty about what would be rejected by the PSB, in July 1975, the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs issued a new set of guidelines for authors and publishers. This “memorandum to all printers and publishers concerning the submission of manuscripts for scrutiny, issued by the Printer’s and Publisher’s Central Registration Board,” makes very clear the extent to which the government was now seeking to restrict freedom of expression in the country. The text reads as follows:..."
Author/creator: Anna J. Allott
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 6, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: FATAL SILENCE? Freedom of Expression and the Right to Health in Burma
Date of publication: July 1996
Description/subject: The Online Burma Library contains two versions of this 1996 report -- in html with added URLs of references not available online in 1996 and a Word version, without these additions, which keeps, so far as possible, the format of the hard copy. "Censorship has long concealed a multitude of grave issues in Burma (Myanmar. After decades of governmental secrecy and isolation, Burma was dramatically thrust into world headlines during the short-lived democracy uprising in the summer of 1988. But, while international concern and pressure has since continued to mount over the country's long-standing political crisis, the health and humanitar­ian consequences of over 40 years of political malaise and ethnic con­flict have largely been neglected. Indeed, in many parts of the country, they remain totally unaddressed. There are many elements involved in addressing the health cri­sis which now besets Burma's peoples. A fundamental aspect, in ARTICLE 19's view, is for the rights to freedom of expression and information, together with the right to democratic participation, to be ensured. In a context of censorship and secrecy, individuals cannot make informed decisions on important matters affecting their health. Without freedom of academic research and the ability to disseminate research findings, there can be no informed public debate. Denial of research and information also makes effective health planning and provision less likely at the national level. Without local participation, founded on freedom of expression and access to information, the health needs of many sections of society are likely to remain unaddressed. Likewise, secrecy and censorship have a negative impact on the work of international humanitarian agencies..."
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html (1.1MB), Word (589K), pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-fatal-silence-.pdf
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/FATAL-SILENCE.doc
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 1994: 06 - Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Date of publication: September 1995
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html (35K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Censorship Prevails: Political Deadlock and Economic Transition in Burma
Date of publication: March 1995
Description/subject: "Burma remains one of the most heavily censored states in the world. The main instrument of day-to-day censorship continues to be the Printers and Publishers Registration Law of 1962. Introduced shortly after the military coup which brought Gen. Ne Win and his newly-formed BSPP to power, the law has been repeatedly expanded in scope and severity over the years, including by the present SLORC government. Currently, all books, magazines, periodicals, songs and films must be submitted under this law to the Press Scrutiny Board (PSB) prior to being printed or, in some cases, distributed. Books, for example, must be submitted to the PSB before printing and again afterwards to check that no changes have been made, whereas magazines, which must be legally registered, are required to take the more risky method of submitting copies for censorship only after they have been printed. Under the 1985 Video Law, all videos must also be submitted to the Video Censorship Board (which comes under the Film Censorship Board) for pre-publication scrutiny, reflecting the authorities' nervousness about the rapid proliferation of this form of expression..." Contents: 1 Overview of Recent Events; 2 Continuing Mechanisms of Censorship; 3 New Developments in the State Media; 4 Alternative Expression and the Private Sector Media; 4.1 Business Publications; 4.2 Film and Video; 4.3 Literary Rallies; 5 The SLORC's Political Reform Process; 6 Academic Freedom and Education; 7 Constraints on Freedom of Association and Movement; 8 Ethnic Minority Languages and Literature; 9 Foreign Media and Non-Governmental Organizations; 10 Conclusion and Recommendations. Appendix: Writers and Political Activists Imprisoned for the Peaceful Expression of Their Opinions.
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19 (ISBN 1 870798 77 5)
Format/size: html (121K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-censorship-prevails.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Paradise Lost?
Date of publication: September 1994
Description/subject: Environment and Freedom of Expression in Burma. In the past decade, there has been a growing international consensus over the fundamental relationship between the universal values of "human rights", "environmental rights" and "development rights". "The Myanmar Tourism Policy is based on preservation of cultural heritage, protection of natural environment, regional development and generation of foreign exchange earnings."
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (174K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A Story from "Inked Over, Ripped Out"
Date of publication: 1994
Author/creator: Daw San San Nweh
Source/publisher: Anna Allot
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: INKED OVER, RIPPED OUT: Burmese Storytellers and the Censors
Date of publication: September 1993
Description/subject: A PEN American Center Freedom-to-Write Report, with a preface to the Internet edition, July 2003... Here are two versions of Anna Allott's 1993 book: an html version without pagination and a Word version which seeks to retain the original format and pagination. Both versions contain the preface to the Internet edition. "The purpose of this publication on Burmese writing and Burmese censorship is to enable the work of certain Burmese authors, writing since the imposi­tion of military rule in 1988, to be read by a much wider audience than is usually the case, and also to show, through their own words (in translation), how they are continuing to find ways to express their true feelings about what is happening in their country in spite of the very strict and repressive system of censorship that exists there. Of necessity, in a country where no direct criticism of government policy or of individuals who hold positions of power is permitted, writing is fre­quently allusive or ironical, so much so that even Burmese readers not keyed into the clues may not appreciate the point of a piece, still less those Burmese who have been living abroad for some time, and still less the foreign reader. A writer in Burma has, therefore, a constant dilemma: he is never quite certain how far he dare go, for, if his criticisms or his protest or his satire is too obvious it will not be approved by the censors and will be forced to lie unpublished in his desk drawer. Worse still, it may even bring about his arrest. On the other hand, if the work is too veiled, or couched in too allegorical or symbolic language, the message he is trying to convey will not be understood. Hence, in this selection for the English reader, it is necessary to provide background information about the writers and the works that have been included in this selection, setting them in the context in which they were written. And this context can be understood only with reference to Burma's recent history, and the system of government control and censor­ship that has evolved during the last thirty years. The stories and poems selected for translation have been brought to my attention by a number of lovers of Burmese writing. Some of them have been identified by the readers as carrying a political message, often hidden to the casual reader or to anyone unaware of the issues being addressed in them. Where these pieces have been published in Burma, one assumes the censors either failed to spot the subtext, or if they did not fail, believed that it was sufficiently buried for them to let the pieces through safely, without being accused of being incompetent. Many of the writers featured here already have their works subjected to close scrutiny by the censors and are identified as being persons to watch. The publication of their works in English, together with my interpretations of their works, may result in their future writings being submitted to even greater scrutiny for hidden meanings. I can only apologize for further adding to their difficulties and stress that the allusions and hidden meanings that I have identified in these stories are drawn from my own interpretation, supported by discussions with other readers, and do not represent explana­tions by the writers themselves. Inevitably, the stories represent a very small part of all works written since 1988. They are untypical, in that the majority of pieces published in Burma today do not have any overt or hidden political message, as most works with even a hint of such messages are refused publication. The consequent trivialization of Burmese imaginative literature has been im­mensely discouraging to all serious and independent-minded writers. Some feel that they can now only produce work that is intrinsically without worth. Others have abandoned original writing and confine themselves instead to translating works from Western literature..."
Author/creator: Anna J. Allott
Language: English
Source/publisher: PEN American Center
Format/size: html (572k), Word (341K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/INKED-OVER.doc
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2003


Title: "Our Heads are Bloody But Unbowed": Suppression of Educational Freedoms in Burma
Date of publication: 10 December 1992
Description/subject: In June 1990 another important student leader, Min Zeya, chairman of the smaller All Burma Students Democratic Association, was reportedly sentenced to eight years in jail. With the colleges now shut, the SLORC sent university and regional college teachers away on boot camp "re-education" courses at Phaunggyi, organized by the Military Intelligence Service. A standardized system of education was also introduced under the 1966 Basic Education Law and the 1973 Union of Burma Education Law.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19 (Censorship News No. 18)
Format/size: pdf (131K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: State of Fear: Censorship in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: December 1991
Description/subject: "...T h i s report documents the extent and mechanisms of censorship in Burma and the many restrictions on political, cultural, religious and academic freedoms, both under the former BSPP government and its successor, the SLORC, which assumed power in September 1988. Since then, writers and journalists have continued to be detained, harassed and dismissed from their posts. Publications have been banned and, using new martial law restrictions, press censorship has been further tightened. Foreign journalists have been banned and the SLORC has launched frequent attacks on foreign news organizations and journalists..." 3 The Background to Crisis: 3.1 Economic and Social Collapse; 3.2 Ethnic Strife and Civil War; 3.3 Narcotics and AIDS; 3.4 Ecology; 3.5 Refugees; 3.6 The Issue of Human Rights... 4 Development of the Press in Burma: 4.1 The Colonial Era; 4.2 The Parliamentary Era... 5 The Legacy of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP): 5.1 The Ne Win Period; 5.2 The Media Under Ne Win; 5.3 The 1974 Constitution; 5.4 The Publishing Registration Law; 5.5 Alternative Expression; 5.6 Ethnic Minorities and Burmanization; 5.7 Religious Minorities; 5.8 Literacy... 6 The Press in the 1988 Democracy Summer: 7 The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); 7.1 SLORC Claims of Legitimacy; 7.2 SLORC's Use of the Law; 7.3 SLORC Actions in the pre-Election Period; 7.4 Restrictions on Movement and Forced Relocations of Civilians... 8 The 1990 General Election: 8.1 Arrests and Retrospective Laws in the post-Election Period; 8.2 Continuing Use of Press Laws to Stifle Freedom of Expression; 8.3 Ill-Treatment and Death in Custody of Poltical Prisoners... 9 Cultural and Political Expression Under the SLORC: 9.1 Newspapers; 9.2 SLORC's Cultural Revolution; 9.3 Music and Films; 9.4 Journals, Books and Magazines; 9.5 Education; 9.6 Restrictions on Public Servants and Political Parties; 9.7 Religious Freedom; 9.8 Ethnic Minorities; 9.9 The Insurgent Press... 10 The SLORC and the International Community: 10.1 The Foreign Press; 10.2 The International Response; 10.3 The Reply from the SLORC; 10.4 The Role of the United Nations... 11 Summary of the SLORC Period and Prospects for the Future... 12 Conclusions and Recommendations... Appendix 1: Journalists,Writers and Intellectuals in Detention; Appendix 2: Country Statistics... Appendix 3: Extracts from "What has become of us?" by Min Lu... Appendix 4: SLORC Questionnaire to Public Servants, 1 April 1991... Appendix 5: SLORC Questionnaire to Political Parties, 5 August 1991... Appendix 6: Multilateral and Bilaterall Aid to Burma... Appendix 7: Foreign Company Investments and Trade in Burma... Select Bibliography. ISBN 1 870798 71 6
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: pdf (451K - without covers; 720K - with covers)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/State-of-Fear-ocr.pdf (with covers)
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2005


Title: "BURMA (MYANMAR): WORSENING REPRESSION"
Date of publication: 11 March 1990
Description/subject: Arrests of Opposition Party Leaders and Candidates... The Ruling Against Aung San Suu Kyi... Restrictions on Freedom of Speech and Assembly... Forced Relocations of Civilians... Restrictions on Freedom of the Press... The Border Conflict... Forced Porterage... Student Refugees in Thailand... U.S. Policy... RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM ASIA WATCH
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Right Watch/ Asia
Format/size: pdf (89K)
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2012