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Press Scrutiny Board censors magazine cover design, forces media outlets to publish propaganda

(Mizzima/IFEX) - The January issue of the "Myanmar Thit" monthly magazine, which was resubmitted with a new cover design after its earlier version with a portrait of the late UN secretary general U Thant was rejected, has yet to be cleared by the Press Scrutiny Board (censor board), the Rangoon-based media circle said.

The original cover design of the January edition of "Myanmar Thit" magazine commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of U Thant with his portrait on its cover. The publishers, however, had to change their cover design after the censor board disapproved of it. But the censor board has not yet cleared the new cover design even though the magazine submitted it a week ago.

"We cannot as yet publish our magazine. When contacted by telephone, the censor board said today they are still inspecting our new design. We submitted the new cover design over a week ago," the magazine's editor-in-chief, Ko Phone Thet Paing, told Mizzima.

For the revised cover design, the magazine replaced U Thant's portrait with the UN logo and a U Thant quote, "Disregard how many differences exist among the uncivilised citizens, a civilised Asian has no differences and inequalities with any civilised European or American."

The censor board rejected the magazine's cover design with the former world leader's portrait and censored two articles written by him and a speech on U Thant delivered by the Indian apostle of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

The censor board also axed several poems and only permitted six out of a total of 15 to be published in the January edition of the magazine.

The censor board, however, forced weekly journals and monthly magazines to publish its own propaganda to the effect that "nine NLD (National League for Democracy) youths were detained for staging a protest under the influence of and misguided by U Win Tin and U Khin Maung Swe."

U Win Tin and U Khin Maung Swe are two veteran politicians and executive committee members of Burma's main opposition party, the NLD.

For further information on the U Win Tin case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97199

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