Burmese propaganda, now replete in color

The headline “VOA and BBC, sky-full of liars” says it all.

Sorry I’ve been unable to update this blog for the past few weeks. I’ve been overloaded with school.

Today, I noticed a new addition to the Myanmar.com website, the official Burmese government portal. Titled “Photo @ Myanmar.com,” the page contains a series of images that attack the recent Burmese marches, the American government, Western media (particularly BBC, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, three major radio broadcasters in Burma) and the War in Iraq.

There are 14 slides, all sending an obvious message, even to those who cannot read Burmese. I will translate a few of them:

Translation: Are we aiming for Progress or Decline?

Translation: What would you choose? This [arrow points upward] or that [arrow points downward]?

Translation: We don’t need the compassion of the world’s police [America and Bush dressed as a cowboy]!

Translation: The world already knows the true brand of democracy America gives.

Translation: The history of [Burma] will be written by [Burma]. The history that Bush is writing, [on the other hand] is not at all beautiful.

Half of the photos are recently constructed public works projects and administrative buildings in Naypyidaw, and staged rallies, while the other half are images of President Bush’s cabinet, the war in Iraq and the Abu-Gharib scandal. These shoddily-made slides, which look like they were made by someone who has little expertise in Adobe Photoshop, send an important message to the Burmese and to the world: “Watch out. Let America intervene and your country may be next.” By all means, this is an illogical message, but nonetheless one of the few tactics the Burmese government has to change public opinion.


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