Evening at the Shwedagon Pagoda
Photo From Helmut Schadt

From the Irrawaddy News Magazine

Burma Information Blackout: The Media War

“…This week, the incoming news has slowed down, and images are in short supply, yet the violent crackdown continues. Burma news has slipped back, replaced by the Ukraine election, the South Korean president’s visit to the north and events in Iraq.

The regime also successfully kept a lid on information about the UN envoy’s visit as Ibrahim Gambari spent much of his time in Naypyidaw, the dusty new capital where the regime’s propaganda war machine churns out its bizarre version of events.

But the news we received from Rangoon was appalling. Pre-dawn raids on monasteries did not stop. My colleague in Rangoon told me, “Monks were hunted down by soldiers, and they are now in hiding,” some monasteries were deserted and civilians protected monks by providing them hideouts. Notorious Insein Prison and temporary detention centers were filled with monks and civilians.

Reports suggest that monks in detention centers continue to hold to the alms boycott, refusing to accept alms or food from regime supporters. Some reports say that monks went on a hunger strike.

We also learned this week about the tremendous hardships faced by average people and reporters in Rangoon.”

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