Agam's Gecko
Sunday, March 09, 2008

fter the rejection of the UN special envoy's suggestions for inclusion and fairness which the junta's Information Minister, Kyaw Hsan delivered to him on Friday, I was expecting something out of the ordinary for last night's "MRTV-3 International" newscast. They're always a day behind events on this broadcast, reporting what happened the previous day. On the first day coverage, there was no information about the content of discussions.

While not exactly fireworks, a 25 minute propaganda rant from the Information Minister, Brigadeer General Kyaw Hsan is not the usual fare on the junta's English language channel. This is the guy who declared, "The August - September 2007 protests were trivial," earning himself a place alongside the former Iraqi Information Minister for black comedy performance. "There was no popular protest with citizens' participation, only biased information generated by a western power conspiring to install a puppet government, " he said just three months ago.

The unfortunate news reader had to read the entire text of Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan's speech to Mr. Gambari, which took her over 25 minutes. It's too tedious to expect anyone to sit through all that, and most of it was fluffy bureaucratese, and how much the junta loves democracy. The noteworthy bits are here, about 10 minutes worth.

I've just captured some clips of tonight's broadcast, with Mr. Gambari meeting with representatives of various ethnic groups, and I think they snuck the NLD meeting in amongst those. There is a brief view of his meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, but now returning to normal MRTV reporting style, the news reader gives no clue what was discussed. There was also a longer report on Gambari with the referendum authority.

The regime has also now rejected the participation of any foreign election monitors during their referendum.


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