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Eye candy

Who wants to watch pricey satellite television, with its rolling news and international distractions, when there’s a garden of propaganda delights to be explored on TV Myanmar? The channel has a short morning burst until 9:00am, then breaks off until 4:00pm, presumably so no-one slacks off work in order to catch an eyeful. Some highlights from a regular viewing day – Tuesday, 18 March 2008.

AM
7:25 To be healthy: exercise programme
7:40 Documentary: Ying Nyein water gate
7:45 Short drama: ‘Fire dropped on Thigh’
8:10 Burmese traditional floral design
8:20 Programme to honour the 63rd anniversary of Army Day
8:45 Lively cultural dance

PM
4:00 Military March music & Soldiers’ songs
4:10 Prize-winning songs from the competition to honour the 63rd anniversary of Army Day
4:25 TV lesson for Distance University Education: 2nd Year Zoology major students
4:45 Songs to uphold National Spirit
4:50 Competition: playing musical instruments
5:10 Sing & Enjoy
5:50 Programme to honour the 63rd anniversary of Army Day
6:50 Variety of knowledge for fun
7:10 Foreign soap opera ‘Love you, love you’ (Episode 9)
8:00 Foreign soap opera ‘Parallel of love’ (Episode 13)

There are four ‘news’ bulletins, and if you are especially lucky you can catch a hapless presenter reading out verbatim a lengthy speech made by one of the generals. See for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/yund57 Be warned – it’s addictive stuff! But Burmese people seem to prefer Hollywood action thrillers and Bollywood song-and-dance family dramas on VCD (video compact disc, a cheaper option than DVDs). Heck, the traitors will even watch banned copies of John Rambo, man-tits and all, giving the Burmese army a single-handed thrashing in his latest outing. There’s gratitude for you!

New Internationalist issue 411 magazine cover This article is from the May 2008 issue of New Internationalist.
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