Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi might be free from confinement but Burmese democracy is not out of the woods yet.
Her campaign speech, due to be aired on State radio and television ahead of the April 1st by-elections has been censored.
It’s true that only one paragraph of text was removed from her speech by the censors…but it’s still gone.
Her campaigning speech was going to be recorded next week and then broadcast before the by-elections. Her campaign team at the National League of Democracy (NLD) has replaced the paragraph.
Aung San Suu Kyi clarified the position when she noted that the censored text referred to the human rights abuses of the former military regime that ruled Burma for several decades.
The regime has remained tight-lipped about the episode. There’s no comment.
But violations to one side it’s apparent that there is progress. Speeches will be recorded and broadcast and the planned elections are set to go ahead.
International observers will also be keen to establish the authenticity of electoral rolls and Aung San Suu Kyi herself will be keen to resolve the problems she has had in planning campaign rallies. It seems that getting hold of public parks and arena for speeches and rallies has proved difficult.
Speeches apart, should Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD followers win all 48 of the seats the military-backed cilvilian government will still control a majority in parliament.
There’s a lot more to freedom of speech in Burma than the removal of the odd paragraph from Aung San Suu Kyi ‘s speech.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+