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State censor board bans use of bamboo-hat logo, seal

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burma’s state censor has banned news journals using in their reporting the seal and logo of the party that broke away from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, National Democratic Front party leader Khin Maung Swe said.

The Press Scrutiny and Registration Division, the Burmese junta’s censor board had cut the NDF’s bamboo-hat logo from interviews and news presented by Rangoon-based journals Monitor, Hot News and The Voice weekly since the first week of this month, he said.

“Some journals could report only interviews; some journals could report both interviews and use the logo. The journals replied that the logo was deleted by the censor board when it was contacted,” NDF party leader Khin Maung Swe told Mizzima.

Sources close to the journals confirmed the ban.

“We presented our draft copy of interviews and the bamboo-hat logo but the censor deleted both interviews featuring the NDF and the logo,” an editor with links to these journals said.

“We can print the seals and logos of other parties … As far as we know, they even turned down the draft copy attached with the clippings of state-run media bearing this logo,” a source close to Hot News told Mizzima.

The NDF said the censor had restricted news coverage containing its logo, though the seals and logos of other parties remained unaffected by the restriction, adding that the party should be allowed the same freedoms as other officially registered parties.
The party said the logo and seal was permitted in the media only when the dispute between the NDF and NLD arose. The Monitor denied the claim.

“Why should the logo recognised and permitted by the [election] commission be banned? No, the censor board permitted our journal and other journals to cover the news and its logo,” Monitor editor-in-chief Myat Khaing told Mizzima. Last month’s issue of the journal was allowed to cover NDF news and use its logo and bamboo hat.

Censor board section head Yu Yu Win said: “I think this logo might also have appeared in other journals. We permit these logos if they are officially recognised by the [electoral] commission. I can say only this.”

The dispute of using this logo arose when the NDF applied for party registration with the electoral commission, which permitted use of the logo. The commission however failed to communicate its approval to the censor board, a source close to the censor said.

Similarly, Snapshot journal was barred from running an interview with NDF party chairman Dr. Than Nyein two months ago, a source close to the journal said.

“It seems the authorities are building more hurdles … for our election campaign as the polling date draws nearer,” Khin Maung Swe said.

The NDF will field about 100 candidates in the election, which is to be held on November 7.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 August 2010 03:34 )  

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