The Nation



Myanmar lifts censorship on all publications

File photo : EPA

File photo : EPA

Yangon - Myanmar on Monday lifted pre-publication censorshipon news of political and religious content, adding greater mediafreedom to its growing list of reforms.

The country has been gradually relaxing censorship sincereform-minded President Thein Sein took office in March 2011.

"We will withdraw the pre-scrutinizing process of publications ofpolitics and religious issues including news journals," said TintSwe, chief of the press scrutiny and registration board.

The government last year dropped pre-publication censorshiprequirements on news covering sports, entertainment, health, scienceand technology.

"I was happy to hear that there will be no more censorship," saidan editor of a Yangon-based weekly who requested anonymity. "It willcut down on time and expenses. But at the same time, I feel that moreresponsibility bears on our shoulders."

The government had planned to set up a press council to provideethics guidelines and self-monitoring to the local press, but thatprocess has been bogged down by disputes among government and media.

There are about 140 publications including 60 news weeklies thatneeded to submit to pre-publication censorship prior to Monday.

"Our office will now only function on registrations. We havestopped scrutinizing," Tint Swe said.

Thein Sein has initiated a series of political and economicreforms since coming to power, resulting in an easing of Westernsanctions on the former pariah state. Myanmar was ruled by military regimes from 1962 to 2010

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