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Writers’ talks banned in Magway region


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – During the past month, township chiefs in Magway Region have not allowed seven planned literary events to be held, according to writers who tried to speak in the area.

Tun Lwin, the well-known, retired Burmese meteorologist, delivers a speech on the Irrawaddy River at Zabuthiri Monastery in Mingalardon Township, Rangoon, in September 2011. Photo: MizzimaOne banned writer told Mizzima that the writers had planned to talk about rebuilding the country, changing the mindset of the public, national hero General Aung San and other topics.

Writer Maung Tha Cho said that he had planned to deliver literary talks in Aunglan Township and Myitchay Township in Magway Region in January and February, but local authorities refused his request.

“When we went there, the organizers had already built pavilions. When the literary talks drew closer, authorities informed them they would not allow the talks,” Maung Tha Cho told Mizzima.

Similarly, the well–known Burmese meteorologist Tun Lwin told Mizzima that authorities did not allow his planned talk to be held in Thayat Township on January 9.

Tun Lwin said he always talked about meteorology, changing weather conditions and environmental conservation on the talk shows and banning his talk prevents him him from educating people about meteorological issues.

“I was rather upset,” he said. “In my opinion, this cannot benefit the people. Something is wrong, I think. It’s sure that it should not happen. I felt sorry for the villagers, and I’m upset,” Tun Lwin said.

The cartoonist Aw P Kyel was also affected by the ban. From January 9 until February 8, he was prevented from giving talks in Thayat, Chauk, Seikphyu, Pakokku, Yaysakyo and Myitchay townships in Magway Region.

Talking about Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann’s speech on Tuesday to bring about genuine reforms, cartoonist Aw P Kyel told Mizzima, “If they take steps forward [for democracy], we will accept it, otherwise we won’t.”

According to several of the writers, they have been able to give literary talks freely across the country except in Magway Region. Meteorologist Tun Lwin told Mizzima, “We did not face the ban in any other region or state. It happened only in Magway Region. Other writers’ planning literary talks were also refused.”

On Tuesday, Mann, in a reform-oriented speech, told MPs in the Union Assembly, “[You] just need to learn lessons from the mistakes in the past and to boldly make changes. You need to make actual reforms.”

Talking about Shwe Mann’s speech, writer Than Myint Aung said, “The president and the government members said good things, but the lower-level officials do not obey the instructions given from their superior officials.”

Her planned talk to be held in Magway in December 2011 was banned. Similarly, the organizers informed her on Friday that her talk planned for Saturday in Mankaleik village in Kunchankone Township in Rangoon would not be allowed, Than Myint Aung told Mizzima.

Banned talks in Magway Region
No Date Township Speakers
1 January 9 Thayat Tun Lwin, Aung Kyi Nyunt, Aw P Kyel
2 January 20 Aung Lan Pe Myint, Kyaw Win, Maung Tha Cho
3 February 3 Chauk Aw P Kyel and two other writers
4 February 4 Seikphyu Aw P Kyel and two other writers
5 February 6 Pakokku San San New (Tharyarwaddy), Nu Nu Yi (Innwa), Aw P Kyel
6 February 7 Yaysakyo Nu Nu Yi (Innwa), Maung Tha Cho, Aw P Kyel
7 February 8 Myit Chay Than Myint Aung, Maung Tha Cho, Aw P Kyel
Last Updated ( Friday, 10 February 2012 12:28 )  

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