Provision of Explicit Guidelines for Literature and the Media – 1975
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Provision of Explicit Guidelines for Literature and the Media – 1975

By Anna J. Allott MAY, 1998 - VOLUME 6 NO.3


In an attempt to reduce the uncertainty about what would be rejected by the PSB, in July 1975, the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs issued a new set of guidelines for authors and publishers. This “memorandum to all printers and publishers concerning the submission of manuscripts for scrutiny, issued by the Printer’s and Publisher’s Central Registration Board,” makes very clear the extent to which the government was now seeking to restrict freedom of expression in the country. The text reads as follows:

The Central Registration Board hereby informs all printers and publishers that it has laid down the following principles to be adhered to in scrutinizing political, economic, and religious manuscripts, and novels, journals, and magazines. They must be scrutinized to see whether or not they contain:

1. anything detrimental to the Burmese Socialist Program;

2. anything detrimental to the ideology of the state;

3. anything detrimental to the socialist economy;

4. anything which might be harmful to national solidarity and unity;

5. anything which might be harmful to security, the rule of law, peace, and public order;

6. any incorrect ideas and opinions which do not accord with the times;

7. any descriptions which, though factually correct, are unsuitable because of the time or the circumstances of their writing;

8. any obscene (pornographic) writing;

9. any writing which would encourage crimes and unnatural cruelty and violence;

10. any criticism of a nonconstructive type o­n the work of government departments;

11. any libel or slander of any individual.

[Source: Inked over, ripped out - Burmese Storytellers and the Censors, by Anna J. Allott]

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