Samak and Burma, good buddies?

The Censorship Bureau of Burma (a government group, if that’s not already clear) has banned all coverage of demonstrations taking place in Thailand.

The website (registration recently required) reports that the delayed CNN broadcasts allowed on Burma’s tiny 19-channel Family Entertainment pay-TV system, are shown only after they are stripped of all news about Thailand, which these days is only about the anti-government protests. Family Entertainment is a joint venture of the Forever Group and the Orwellian Ministry of “Information”.

“We (also) can’t report it in our magazine,” an editor in Burma wrote to the Irrawaddy website.

What is also not clear is the primary reason for the censorship. It could be that authorities fear that Thais will give Burmese people the idea of demonstrating peacefully against their government. Or it could just be a kind payback to Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who has savaged pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, praised the military junta and explained to the world the leaders meditate, and are good men because they are obviously deeply religious Buddhists.


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