(Irrawaddy) Burmese publications have reportedly been told by the regime’s Press Scrutiny Board that they can carry special election sections provided they don’t report on political parties that fail to register.
Sources say the decision expected to be taken on Monday by leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD) whether or not to register can be reported in the media. But if the NLD decides not to register there will be a black-out on any future coverage of its activities.
Many publications are now carrying special sections devoted to election news and interviews. Media sources say most of them—including The Myanmar Times, Biweekly Eleven, Modern and 7 Day News—have had articles rejected by the censors because they touched on sensitive issues related to the election.
According to sources in Rangoon, a “special security force” has been established to oversee the work of the Press Scrutiny Board during the election period.
The censorship board must submit any written material on the election to the new group before allowing it to be published. The group comprises high-ranking officials, including Lt-Gen Myint Swe, who is close to junta head Sen-Gen Than Shwe.
The Press Scrutiny Division announced on March 17 that registered parties could publish election-related news, but with certain conditions.
One condition requires them to apply to the censorship board, within 90 days of their registration, for permission to publish election-related material.