Rare Public Protest in Burma

In a country where public protest can be dangerous to its practitioners, the Burmese government’s decision to okay the construction of a major dam on the Irrawaddy River is drawing increasingly fierce and surprising opposition. On Sept. 26, the government’s Ministry of Information reportedly banned journalists from writing about the controversial Myitsone Dam project, or even the Irrawaddy River in general. Last week, artists, writers, poets, singers, environmentalists and social workers defied authorities to hold a series of events around Rangoon, the country‘s commercial center, that attracted thousands of people. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s democracy icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has come out against the dam.

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