Wed 29 Feb 2012
Filed under: Inside Burma,Media
Aung San Suu Kyi will receive a business-like reception when she goes to the Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) studios to record an NLD campaign speech in March.The TV staff, told Mizzima that Director General Thein Aung ordered people working in the offices and studios not to make a big deal out of her visit, in spite of the great anticipation, curiosity and eagerness of the workers to meet the national democratic icon.
The staff was assembled in a special meeting on Friday in Naypyitaw and the director general issued his instruction.
“Aung San Suu Kyi will come to our office,” said a staff member. “Our DG told us not to welcome and greet her on that day, and we should remain at our jobs,” a MRTV staff member told Mizzima.
The Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on February 17 that 17 political parties including the NLD could create a campaign speech, which would be broadcast on state radio and television. Suu Kyi’s election campaign speech will be telecast and broadcast by MRTV on March 14. She will arrive at MRTV studios in Naypyitaw two days in advance to record the speech.
Most MRTV staff wanted to give her a big welcome. “We have never seen her before live,” said the staff member. “We have seen her only on the Internet and the pictures in the weekly journals. First we thought we would get a chance to welcome her when she comes, but we have to follow the DG’s instructions.
“The camera crew is lucky: they can see her. They can see her up close, but we will not have an opportunity to see her even from a distance.”
Suu Kyi has encountered numerous obstacles from state authorities during her campaign trips across the country. On February 14, NLD officials held a press conference to discuss various incidents, including the NLD’s failure to find a large venue in Mandalay to hold a mass rally on February 4 and 5, after various authorities rejected their requests for venues. The NLD had to postpone the planned Mandalay campaign tour and reschedule it for early March.
It also applied to hold a mass rally in a sports area in Pyapon in Irrawaddy Region on February 17, but the Ministry of Sports refused permission. The rally was held on a sand dune on the outskirts of Pyapon, where an estimated 40,000 people heard Suu Kyi speak. The sports ministry also refused access to a football ground in Hlegu Township in Rangoon Region on February 15. After publicity, the UEC overruled the ministry decision and permission was granted to hold a rally on the sports field.
High-level Burmese officials have repeatedly said that the April 1 election would be free and fair, but numerous incidents have shown that the NLD is fighting a battle just to get its message out to the public.