02.07.2018

Maintaining a Reality? – Structures of Censorship in Myanmar

Kimberley Pallenschat, a young researcher from FES Myanmar, conducted the following study on the legal mechanisms of censorship in Myanmar and self-censorship among artists, activists and journalists.

 

 

The author of the study: Kimberley Pallenschat

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is a German non-profit, public interest, political-educational foundation active in Myanmar since 2005 to promote the values of social democracy and political dialogue in the society. A core objective of FES is also to support young researchers in their work and to encourage them to tackle socio-political issues. We are therefore very pleased to herewith present Kimberley Pallenschat's study, which has dealt with the legal mechanisms of censorship in Myanmar as well as with self-censorship among artists, activists and journalists. Since the author worked not only with FES Myanmar but also at the Goethe-Institut in Yangon, she gained a unique insight into both the political landscape and the art scene in Myanmar. These different perspectives are reflected in her research and shed light on the phenomenon from different angles. The author has meanwhile returned to her workplace at the Goethe-Institut, which with the reopening of the Goethe Villa provides a unique cultural venue in Yangon. The Goethe Villa is probably the most liberal and open place in the country for artists, activists, citizens and expats to come together and to - free from fears - be creative, educate themselves and engage in discussions with each other.


My first encounter with censorship in Myanmar was during the organisation of the European Film Festival last year. All of the films had to be submitted to the film censorship board in advance and every now and then there came a request for even more copies of some of the films. During the screenings, an officer from the censorship board would sit next to the beamer with a list of timings for certain scenes which should be censored. Whenever there was a scene which was deemed inappropriate, a piece of paper or the shadow of a hand would be shoved in front of the beamer, blending out a sex-scene or nudity, but leaving on the sound. A wave of giggles would arise in the cinema, and occasionally, when the censor reacted too slowly and a breast or buttocks was revealed, the cinema would erupt into laughter.

At the time, freshly arrived in Myanmar, I thought of it as something trivial, a somewhat old-fashioned attempt to protect people from things they should not see, though everyone knew they could access them through the internet if desired. Something which was shrugged off and would eventually fade away, not really influencing people’s everyday reality.

However, over the months that followed, I became more acutely aware of the extent to which censorship still has a pervasive effect on people’s lives, in particular on those who wish to express themselves. As a foreigner, one tends to feel above some of the ‘outdated’, though explainable, laws waiting to be reformed to fit the newly found democratic spirit. However, one quickly becomes aware of certain sensitive topics one tends to avoid in conversation with locals, even with colleagues or close friends: lowering the voices, nervously looking over the shoulder when using words such as Rohingya in public. After discussing the current Rakhine-crisis with a friend from Myanmar I asked him what he was so worried about. He told me, “I was not really scared, but I was aware [of people looking] so I am careful”. Clearly self-censorship extends beyond that encouraged by the state.

Recently freedom of expression, particularly regarding the press in Myanmar, has been a heated topic both nationally and internationally[1]. Since last year, Myanmar has dropped 6 spots on the World Press Freedom Index[2], ranking 137th out of 180 countries. The initial hopes and excitement for the recent democratic transition, ending nearly 60 years of military rule, have been dimmed by ongoing conflicts between the military and ethnic minorities threatening the peace process. The stream of nearly 700.000 Rohingya refugees who have fled Rakhine state since August last year has sparked international critique and condemnation. Meanwhile, Nobel-prize winner and the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is still refusing to use the term Rohingya for the stateless minority in public but rather referring to them as Bengali – a preferred terminology among the general public in Myanmar implying that the ethnic minorities are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. While nationalist groups and the government denounce international news reports as biased and ‘fake-news’, activists within Myanmar express frustration and resignation by the lack of real legal and social change. Some even feel that the spaces for free expression have been shrinking rather than growing since the election of the democratic government in 2015[3].

Although often associated with oppressive governments, censorship exists in most societies in one form or another, for example through a content rating system for films or through self-censorship of inappropriate speech[4]. Thus, instead of questioning whether there is censorship, academics have pointed out that a more useful approach is looking at the kind of censorships that exist[5]. This opens up the possibility to look beyond censorship as a legal instrument of control of the state, and to explore the mechanisms of censorship within society. Censorship is not merely a question of what kind of reality the state wishes to convey upon its subjects, but what people wish to hear.

In the research I carried out over the course of the past few weeks, I interviewed ten people dedicated to exercising their freedom of expression through film, music, literature, research, political activism or journalism. These included Myanmar nationals and foreigners who have been working in Myanmar for several years.

Drawing on my background as a student of Anthropology and International Relations, and from living and working in Yangon for the past ten months, the aim of my research was to map the instruments of censorship presently restricting people’s ability to express themselves in Myanmar. Due to the small scale of the research, this paper does not constitute a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms of censorship currently in place, nor does it attempt to provide a scientific judgement on the motivations for self-censorship for the majority of the population. However, it does provide an insight into the experiences of a small group of people who, by choice or necessity, engage with censorship in their everyday lives. This essay thus aims to highlight the need for a much broader discussion on the historical, social, legal and psychological dynamics in Myanmar’s society, leading to what any kind of censorship, also in established Western democracies, ultimately aims to do: maintaining a certain status quo and prompting self-censorship. What follows could therefore more accurately be described as a mapping of the structures rather than the instruments of censorship in Myanmar.

Film Censorship

Although the military’s film censorship body was abolished in 2012 and media restrictions were considerably relaxed, the Film Classification Board under the Ministry of Information was re-established in 2014[6], with the objective to “modernise and upgrade the standard of Myanmar Motion Picture Business, (…) to cause the emergence of Myanmar motion picture films which will prove beneficial to the all-round development of the State and to the preservation of Myanmar cultural heritage (…) and to prohibit decadent motion picture films which will undermine Myanmar culture and Myanmar traditions and customs.[7]” Reflecting the still strongly conservative stance of the government, part of the reasoning behind re-establishing film censorship was that the quality of movies had deteriorated since the abolition of censorship due to the “increasing number of movies featuring sex scenes or without a main plot”[8].

Séverine Wemaere, the organiser of MEMORY! Film Festival, a heritage film festival running since 2014 in Yangon shrugs her shoulders:

“Well, they say that they are protecting their traditions. And, for example, regarding nudity, it’s true to a certain extent. I mean, look around, nudity is not part of Myanmar culture. (…) Of course, they know that anyone can access pornography and foreign movies on the internet nowadays. They do not censor the internet. But it is about not losing face, about maintaining a certain image of Myanmar. A new film law should in any case address this issue and revamp the censorship rules that are clearly obsolete or reflecting the military-era or both.”

Since the inception of the festival, which shows 60 films each year, Wemaere and her team have developed a close relationship with the censorship board, regularly meeting to discuss the films they wish to screen. For them working with the censorship board was an obligation, but it also became a space for discussion and sometimes negotiation, all the more it was dealing for such an amount of films from the past. This was really unusual for them. Now, not only nudity is the cause for censorship.  “There was this Japanese Film, The Burmese Harp from the 50s which was censored because it showed beggars on the streets. When I asked the board about it, they said ‘there are no beggars on the streets in Myanmar’ (…) But generally speaking, over the past few years, we have had some very interesting discussions with the censorship board. We keep pointing to contradictions and sometimes we can obtain some flexibility. And I think they realise the absurdity of some of these laws. But they are civil servants – they follow the rules. I think only a new film law could change this and would have a positive impact on the film industry, particularly for the young generation of filmmakers who really experience these rules as a burden. It is one thing to struggle for screening films and enable access to worldwide cinema heritage, it is another to be able to make films in a context of freedom of expression. This is why in 2017 we chose banned films and censorship as the main theme of the festival. It was an excellent opportunity for civil society and young filmmakers from Myanmar and other countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan…) to discuss this topic rather freely and with the participation of the authorities.”

Having direct contact with the censorship board, however, is not necessarily the status quo, and communication usually takes place in writing via formal applications and feedback[9]. While scenes deemed inappropriate in foreign movies are usually simply covered with a piece of paper during the screening, one needs to apply for a license for general release within Myanmar. This can take time, with most of the communication taking place via letters. The board then provides a list of timings for things which need to be changed or cut out. A young lady working with documentary filmmaking explains to me that although there are no clear guidelines as to what will not be permitted in a film, filmmakers can usually anticipate which actions are usually deemed inappropriate. In addition to nudity and sexual relations, religion, particularly Buddhism, is a topic to be handled with care. Documentaries concerning military actions, such as the 2007 Saffron Revolution are another sensitive topic. She explains that “showing a soldier shooting a monk is not good for the country’s image”, so is talking badly about the government or the generals.

“Although something is true, it should not necessarily be shown if it can harm people,” is another line of reasoning calling for the necessity of the censorship board which was brought up during a conversation with a professor at the University of Yangon. Arguing that those who are mentally weak or prone to heart failure might suffer from shock if exposed to films showing allegedly distressing content such as violence or what some might perceive as “unnatural sexual relations”, she reiterated the protectionist role of the state executed by the censorship board.

Film censorship, then, is considered to protect citizens’ physical and emotional well-being and preserve traditional values such as decency and privacy. Further, it is about maintaining a reality of life in Myanmar. This disconnect between cinema reality and the reality seen in everyday life is satirically portrayed in the comedy short-film “Ban That Scene”[10] and was often laughed off with a shrug of shoulders during interviews.

“Things are changing. Maybe slowly, but they are changing[11].”

However, although a new film law introducing a rating system based on the age of the audience is allegedly being drafted[12], there is a frustration among Myanmar’s artistic filmmakers, many of whom still feel that the system encourages self-censorship[13].

Thaid Di, the co-founder of the annual Wathann Film Festival, a short film festival focussing on the development of independent cinema, highlighted another disconnect during MEMORY!’s conference on censorship last year between the reality people wish to see and what they need to see. Being lodged in an awkward position between market censorship and government censorship encourages a behaviour of self-policing among independent and documentary filmmakers. Critically, such an environment helps maintain a reality unquestioned by the majority of the cinema-going public. People who wish to access critical movies about civil wars, military, sexual relations or religion can do so – in private screenings or in the world wide web. But the majority of the population seems to remain unexposed.

Vague laws and tools of intimidation

Although the abolishment of pre-publication review ended censorship for journals and newspapers in 2012 many of the old laws which lay the foundation for censorship remain in place[14]. Much of the blame for the lack of freedom of expression has been placed upon the government of the military and the oppressiveness of both old and new legal frameworks[15].

According to a recently launched report by Free Expression Myanmar, journalists are no longer only concerned by media-specific laws, but also laws on association, telecommunications, privacy and official secrets[16]. Article 124, criminalising whoever “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, bring[s] to, attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards [the Government established by law for the Union or for the constituent units thereof,]” is seen as a particular threat. 

The infamous article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act, which was passed in 2013 and criminalises defamation has been much discussed and critiqued for being used in an attempt to restrict peaceful speech for political reasons[17]. The law allows anyone who is directly affected by an alleged offence, or those with the permission of an effected person to press charges. Around 20 journalists were prosecuted in 2017, many of them under article 66 (d)[18].

As the film law, these broadly phrased laws not only allow the government to declare any publication as unlawful, but also provide the population with a tool to sue journalists, or anyone posting or making a public statement, perceived as insulting, criticising the government or offending national values. This creates an environment of uncertainty and threat.

Last year four Myanmar reporters were charged with “Unlawful Association” after returning from an area controlled by Ta’ang National Liberation Army[19]. Who or what is considered an unlawful association remains broadly defined and can be declared by the President of the Union[20]. In November 2017 Swe Win, chief editor and high profile journalist of Myanmar Now was arrested after being sued for defamation under section 66(d) by a supporter of the Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha[21]. It is not just journalists who face the threat of a lawsuit. After their Thailand tour last year, the punk group Rebel Riot posted a photograph on social media of the band members dressed in the fashion of a Christian priest, a Buddhist monk and a Hindu deity. A complaint was lodged with the Yangon office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture by Myanmar National Network leader Ko Win Ko Ko Latt, and many Facebook users shared a post condemning the group for insulting Buddhism. Consequently, the punk group issued a public apology to the religious-nationalist group Ma Ba Tha[22] [23]. Some interviewees also shared experiences where acquaintances had been publicly condemned on Facebook, received threats and hate-messages and even lost friends after posting or sharing something perceived as controversial.

Journalists reporting for foreign media also feel the pressure of an increasingly restricting environment for reporting. 

“Whenever I have journalist friends who leave the country to renew their visa, they give me the key to their apartment because they are never sure if they will be able to come back,”

a European freelance journalist who has been reporting in Myanmar for the past 3 years told me. She explained that the journalist visa has recently been reduced from 70 days with multiple entry to only 28 days and single entry. “When I apply for a journalist visa, I need to sign that I will not enter certain ‘operational zones’, without any clarification of what those are. If they want to expel you, it can be anything.”

In addition to these tools of intimidation and uncertainty, gaining access is another challenge. Not only do foreign and local journalists[24] face restrictions preventing them from accessing conflict areas, but they also struggle to talk to sources. “People are unwilling to talk to me either out of fear or because they are suspicious of foreign media. It’s like a domino effect,” the freelance journalist explains.

Fear beyond the state

The fear extends beyond those regulations imposed by the state. “My translator faces a lot of peer pressure, especially on Facebook where he is accused of being an ‘agent of the evil’”, the journalist tells me. “There is control but you cannot see it. It can come from anywhere. There is no formal mechanism but an environment,” a politically active interviewee said. When asked what motivated him to avoid certain themes in his songs, a musician explained

“You know, it’s strange because you are not necessarily scared of going to prison, but you are scared that people won’t listen to your music... So people are like ‘why should I push it?’ … You don’t want to upset the majority of the population.”

It becomes clear that the social motivations for self-censorship go beyond the legal instruments available to both the government and the population. “Even I sometimes self-censor because I am part of an organisation and people see me as a representative of that organisation. You can call it self-censor or tactic, I don’t know,” an interviewee involved in a political organisation explained. Echoing this, the musician argued “If I pushed too much, if I talked very directly about sensitive issues, I am not really sure if people would absorb my message. Instead they would turn their backs and not listen to me anymore.” Social media has also become a tool for nationalist and religious groups of rallying public reactions, as was the case for Rebel Riot.

While much debate and attention is focused on journalism and the film industry when it comes to censorship in present-day Myanmar, it is important not to forget that censorship had a much broader focus during the years of military censorship. Also books and song lyrics had to undergo pre-publication censorship. Listening to certain musicians was forbidden, rock musicians were banned as “destroyers of tradition”[25]. Many political groups were exiled. Art pieces[26], books or CD covers[27] featuring a rose (symbolising Daw Aung San Suu Kyi), the number 54 (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s house number), or significant amounts of red, black, yellow or green, representing blood, death, monks or the army respectively would be censored. Many of the censorable topics[28] such as religion, politics, sexuality, and anything considered as opposing appropriate cultural behaviour are still brought up as sensible during interviews.

While there is no official censorship board except in the film industry, there are other means of keeping track of activities and publications for the government. Before holding a protest, the organisers need to apply for permission citing the time, date, topic, including biographies of the leader and the speakers. Further, Myanmar’s Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law prohibits to “say things or behave in a way that could affect the country or the Union, race, or religion, human dignity and moral principles[29].” Many of my interviewees stated that people from the special branch would turn up at events and film or take notes. What or to whom they reported was unclear. Moreover, any political statements, song lyrics or publications must be submitted to the respective office of authority after publication.

Most of these formalities were dismissed as a mere nuisance. While censorship was seen as a thing of the past associated with the military rule, a necessity to self-censor was frequently brought up towards the end of the interviews. A “they” was repeatedly implied as a cause for this self-censorship: “They”, the community, “they”, the general public, “they” the people in power, “they” the nationalist groups or “they” who preach hate-speech. Yet, it was never quite clear what exactly “they” would do if the respective interviewees did touch upon the sensitive topics and not self-censor.

In a country where so much change has taken place over a very short period of time, with ongoing ethnic conflicts, international pressure, newly acquired access to social media and a majority of the population having grown up under restrictive military rule, this paper has stressed that the crucial question is not whether there is censorship, but what kind. Furthermore, to understand the mechanisms by which the government and the population control what kind of reality is created and what they do and do not wish to see, the interviews presented here demonstrate that one must look beyond the instruments of censorship and rather investigate the structures by which people are motivated to self-censor.

In a legally abstract environment, where communities and social media have the power to socially and legally threaten you, where people are uncertain how much they can push against, censorship has developed into an elusive phenomenon based on ambiguity and uncertainty.

“You know, this is just a track record of four years of experience where censorship is everywhere but it does not prevent you from doing things.”, Wemaere sums up her experiences with censorship in Myanmar. “Of course, I hope it will change, but it is a question of everywhere.” In a legally abstract environment, where communities and social media have the power to socially and legally threaten you, where people are uncertain how much they can push against, censorship has developed into an elusive phenomenon based on ambiguity and uncertainty.

Still, censorship and freedom of expression do not go unchallenged. “I think right now if we could say whatever we wanted, it would be very scary for a lot of people. But things will change, they are changing. They are just yelling at a fast train,” said one of my interviewees, smiling.

 

FES Myanmar would like to thank the author, Kimberley Pallenschat, for her initiative to conduct the study and her thorough research which materialized into this excellent paper. Furthermore, we would like to extend our gratitude to all the men and women who have shared their experiences, expertise and insights to be part of this work. We hope that this study will enhance conversations and debates on the state of freedom of speech in Myanmar and encourage its readers to more actively engage in discussions on the topic among the general public.

 

Footnotes

[1] See: Slow, O. (2018, April 04) The Press Freedom Squeeze, Frontier, retrieved from:  https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/the-press-freedom-squeeze [01.06.18].

Arresting the messenger: Press freedom is waning in Myanmar (2018, March 08) The Economist, retrieved from: https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/03/08/press-freedom-is-waning-in-myanmar [01.06.18].

Aung, T. T. (2018, May 03) Myanmar journalists say government failing to protect press freedom: survey, Reuters, retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/myanmar-journalists-say-government-failing-to-protect-press-freedom-survey-idUSKBN1I41MZ [01.06.18].

[2] Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi’s broken promises (n.d.) Reporters Without Borders, retrieved at: https://rsf.org/en/myanmar [01.06.18].

[3] Interviews conducted by the author, private communications.

[4] Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press, p. 22.

[5] ibid.

[6] Gleeson, S. (2016, June 15) Filmmakers reel after human rights festival motion picture ban, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/filmmakers-reel-after-human-rights-festival-motion-picture-ban [01.06.18].

[7] The Motion Picture Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No.9/96) of 1996, Chapter II, §3 (b, e), retrieved at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=346028 [01.06.18].

[8] Htwe, N. E. E. (2015, January 02) Myanmar film industry objects to new censorship rules, Myanmar Times, retrieved at: https://www.mmtimes.com/lifestyle/12698-myanmar-film-industry-objects-to-new-censorship-rules.html [01.06.18].

[9] Interview with filmmaker conducted by the author.

[10] Kyaw Htwe (2012) Ban That Scene, available at vimeo.com/34335972, [01.06.18].

[11] Interview conducted by the author

[12] Paing, T. H. (2017, September 13) Independent Cinema Resists Censorship at Local Film Festival, The Irrawaddy, retrieved at: https://www.irrawaddy.com/culture/independent-cinema-resists-censorship-local-film-festival.html [01.06.18].

[13] Ibid.

[14] Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press, p. 27.

[15] Free Expression Myanmar (2018, May 02) Myanmar’s Media Freedom at Risk, p. 10, available at: http://freeexpressionmyanmar.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/myanmars-media-freedom-at-risk.pdf [01.06.18].

[16] Free Expression Myanmar (2018, May 02) Myanmar’s Media Freedom at Risk, p. 11, available at: http://freeexpressionmyanmar.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/myanmars-media-freedom-at-risk.pdf [01.06.18].

[17] Adams, B. (2017, May 10) Burma: Letter on Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, Human Rights Watch, retrieved at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/10/burma-letter-section-66d-telecommunications-law [01.06.18].

[18] Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi’s broken promises (n.d.) Reporters Without Borders, retrieved at: https://rsf.org/en/myanmar [01.06.18].

[19] Mang, L. M. (2017, June 29) Detained journalists, three civilians charged with Unlawful Association Act, Myanmar Times, retrieved at: https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/26583-detained-journalists-three-civilians-charged-with-unlawful-association-act.html [01.06.18].

[20] The Unlawful Associations Act of 1908, § 16, retrieved at: http://www.icnl.org/research/library/files/Myanmar/UNLAWFUL.pdf

[21] Gleeson, S. (2017, July 30) Myanmar Now editor Ko Swe Win arrested at Yangon Airport,  Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/myanmar-now-editor-ko-swe-win-arrested-at-yangon-airport [01.06.18].

[22] Kyaw, K. P. (2017, March 31) Punk band apologises to Ma Ba Tha after photo backlash, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/punk-band-apologises-to-ma-ba-tha-after-photo-backlash [01.06.18].

[23] Punk band Rebel Riot apologizes to Buddhist supremacists for interfaith photoshoot (2017, March 31) Coconuts Yangon, retrieved at: https://coconuts.co/yangon/news/punk-band-rebel-riot-apologizes-to-buddhist-supremacists-for-interfaith-photoshoot/ [01.06.18].

[24] Free Expression Myanmar (2018, May 02) Myanmar’s Media Freedom at Risk, p. 16, available at: http://freeexpressionmyanmar.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/myanmars-media-freedom-at-risk.pdf [01.06.18].

[25] Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press, p. 45.

[26] Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press, p. 44.

[27] Interview conducted by the author.

[28] Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press, p. 38.

[29] Myanmar: Drop Criminal Charges Against Peaceful Anti-War Protesters (2018, May 12) Fortify Rights, retrieved at: http://www.fortifyrights.org/publication-20180512.html [01.06.18]

Bibliography

Adams, B. (2017, May 10) Burma: Letter on Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, Human Rights Watch, retrieved at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/10/burma-letter-section-66d-telecommunications-law [01.06.18].

Arresting the messenger: Press freedom is waning in Myanmar (2018, March 08) The Economist,retrieved from: https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/03/08/press-freedom-is-waning-in-myanmar [01.06.18].

Aung, T. T. (2018, May 03) Myanmar journalists say government failing to protect press freedom: survey, Reuters, retrieved from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/myanmar-journalists-say-government-failing-to-protect-press-freedom-survey-idUSKBN1I41MZ [01.06.18].

Free Expression Myanmar (2018, May 02) Myanmar’s Media Freedom at Risk, available at:http://freeexpressionmyanmar.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/myanmars-media-freedom-at-risk.pdf [01.06.18].

Gleeson, S. (2016, June 15) Filmmakers reel after human rights festival motion picture ban, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/filmmakers-reel-after-human-rights-festival-motion-picture-ban [01.06.18].

Gleeson, S. (2017, July 30) Myanmar Now editor Ko Swe Win arrested at Yangon Airport, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/myanmar-now-editor-ko-swe-win-arrested-at-yangon-airport [01.06.18].

Htwe, N. E. E. (2015, January 02) Myanmar film industry objects to new censorship rules, Myanmar Times, retrieved at: https://www.mmtimes.com/lifestyle/12698-myanmar-film-industry-objects-to-new-censorship-rules.html [01.06.18].

Kyaw Htwe (2012) Ban That Scene, available at: https://vimeo.com/34335972, [01.06.18].

Kyaw, K. P. (2017, March 31) Punk band apologises to Ma Ba Tha after photo backlash, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/punk-band-apologises-to-ma-ba-tha-after-photo-backlash [01.06.18].

Mang, L. M. (2017, June 29) Detained journalists, three civilians charged with Unlawful Association Act, Myanmar Times, retrieved at: https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/26583-detained-journalists-three-civilians-charged-with-unlawful-association-act.html [01.06.18].

Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi’s broken promises (n.d.) Reporters Without Borders, retrieved at: https://rsf.org/en/myanmar [01.06.18].

Myanmar: Drop Criminal Charges Against Peaceful Anti-War Protesters (2018, May 12) Fortify Rights, retrieved at: http://www.fortifyrights.org/publication-20180512.html [01.06.18]

Paing, T. H. (2017, September 13) Independent Cinema Resists Censorship at Local Film Festival, The Irrawaddy, retrieved at: https://www.irrawaddy.com/culture/independent-cinema-resists-censorship-local-film-festival.html [01.06.18].

Punk band Rebel Riot apologizes to Buddhist supremacists for interfaith photoshoot (2017, March 31) Coconuts Yangon, retrieved at: https://coconuts.co/yangon/news/punk-band-rebel-riot-apologizes-to-buddhist-supremacists-for-interfaith-photoshoot/ [01.06.18].

Slow, O. (2018, April 04) The Press Freedom Squeeze, Frontier, retrieved at: https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/the-press-freedom-squeeze [01.06.18].

The Motion Picture Law (The State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No.9/96) of 1996, Chapter II, §3 (b, e), available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=346028 [01.06.18].

The Unlawful Associations Act of 1908, § 16, available at: http://www.icnl.org/research/library/files/Myanmar/UNLAWFUL.pdf [01.06.18].

Wiles (E.) (2015) Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition, New York: Colombia University Press.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 
Myanmar

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Myanmar

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