Myanmar ends political, religious media censorship

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Bangkok : The information ministry of Myanmar has cancelled censorship for the media publishing political and religious information, a Thai daily reported Monday.

Support TwoCircles

An international non-governmental organisation, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), ranked Myanmar seventh in this year’s list of 10 most-censored countries in the world.

“Starting from August 20, all media publishing political and religious information are exempt from the obligation to get the approval of the information ministry’s department of media control and registration before publishing,” a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the Kom Chad Luek newspaper.

The reform, the latest in a series of pro-democratic changes, might lead to an end to the country’s censorship history that lasted for more than five decades.

Information Minister Kyaw Hsan announced in March that censorship was abolished for 173 dailies and weeklies and 124 magazines publishing information about culture, sports, fashion, science and technology, but religious and political information remained under state control.

Myanmar was ruled by a military junta 1962-2011, which brought about Western economic sanctions in the 1990s.

Although parliament remains controlled by the military, a civil government was formed in March 2011 and the military delegated their powers to its members.

The opposition party, National League for Democracy, led by Nobel prize winner Aung Sun Suu Kyi was also elected to parliament in 2011.