Over at the excellent Rule of Lords, Awzar Thi has announced that the various websites in the stable of Myanmar’s disinformation team are coming back up online. Since 2 May, when the cyclone hit, they were stuck in time: the anti-CNN, the anti-news. While they are not, by any stretch, yet back to their “fully functioning” ways, whoever is in-charge of myanmar.com has helpfully uploaded some important material.
One particular upload caught my attention. It is The New Light of Myanmar from 11 May 2008 – just a week after the unprecedented devastation of a large part of Burma.
So…what is on the front page of the paper? What else could it be? The dictator, and his wife, casting their votes in the constitutional referendum that he didn’t see fit to postpone. In the face of such a momentous national tragedy it was an astonishing decision by Than Shwe. And here it is on the front page of the paper, for all the world to see.
And, on 11 May, it is not until page 4 that we see any mention of Cyclone Nargis. And then all we get are a few pictures of planes loaded with aid and, of course, the “tatmadawmen” clearing roads. As the ever-astute Awzar Thi says, “lies online, again”.
Update 15 May 2008: After trawling through the rest of the material available on myanmar.com, to my eye the first post-cyclone coverage by The New Light of Myanmar (on 8 May) deserves a wider audience. It is available here. It may take some time to download, and then it may take some effort to get through all of the references to “inspections”, “supervisions” and “tatmadawmen”.