Myanmar (Burma): Still not winning on free speech or free press

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Line up to get slapped! In news not from the Onion, Myanmar's Minister of Livestock Breeding, Fisheries and Rural Development flew off the handle during a meeting with some villagers who had the audacity to complain about lack of access to water and threatened to slap them. Yes, to slap them. He'll dare slap anyone! It's the international way:
The former military general and current MP for the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party met with residents of Magwe’s Thityargauk village on 28 January, where he became irate over complaints about access to water. Locals questioned him about ministry plans for assistance to the remote village, which led to the outspoken minister’s tirade.

“I am General Ohn Myint and I’ll dare to slap anyone in the face,” he said. “I will attack anyone who insults the ruling government and if I cannot attack them verbally, I will throw them in jail – this is how it’s done internationally – if you oppose the government, you go to jail and only come out when we’re out of office.”
That's right, general! You tell those ignorant villagers exactly how democracy works. Here is the whole video from DVB.

In other news, an MP "may be responsible for defamation" for suggesting that local police were complicit when a group of Arakanese Buddhists set fire to Rohingya Muslim homes in Muangdaw, and several journalists were thrown in jail over an investigative report of a chemical weapons site. No wonder critics are calling out the Obama administration for getting too cozy with Myanmar's generals.

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