Myanmar Announces End to Press Censorship
It’s been a long time coming for the Southeast Asian country, but today the nation’s government stated that it will no longer censor private publications.
Journalists say they will remain cautious, however, despite the good news. The Irrawaddy, a longtime independent follower of Burmese struggle, explains the possible complications:
Under new rules released on the Information Ministry’s website on Monday, journalists will no longer have to submit their work to state censors before publication as they have for close to half-a-century.
However, reporters will still have to send their stories to the PSRD after publication so government monitors can determine whether their work violated any publishing laws, journalists said. It was not immediately clear to what degree that might result in self-censorship.
The country’s move toward a more democratic society has been underway for more than a year now, and several good things have come of it — political prisoners have been released, US sanctions have been lifted, democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi has reentered politics.
But some positive changes, like the sudden access to YouTube and FaceBook, have surprised onlookers. Racist comments posted against the country’s Rohingyas minority, coupled with the state-led “ethnic cleansing” of the fringe population, suddenly make some very large problems public.
FJP: Despite the complications, it’s a wonderful thing.