Myanmar junta turns to propaganda

Yangon, October 4:

Myanmar’s military government stepped up its propaganda machine today, calling foreign critics “liars” and filling state-controlled media with positive spin of the crushing blow it dealt to pro-democracy advocates.

Soldiers maintained a visible presence on the streets of Yangon, where an eerie quiet has returned after last week’s deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The home of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi remained heavily guarded with about 200 riot police posted near her home, two dozen inside her compound and two patrol boats watching from the water.

With Internet access to the outside world blocked, state-controlled newspapers churned out the government’s version of the country’s crisis and filled pages with propaganda slogans, such as “We favour stability. We favour peace,” and “We oppose unrest and violence.” Critics from the international community and foreign media were dismissed as “liars attempting to destroy the nation” — one of many bold-faced slogans covering The New Light of Myanmar newspaper’s back page today.

Newspapers made no mention of Buddhist monks detained for role in protests.

UN envoy’s visit ‘not successful’:

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that his special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, had delivered “the strongest possible message” to Myanmar’s military leaders about their bloody crackdown on democracy activists, but added that he couldn’t call his four-day trip “a success.” Gambari is to brief Ban on Thursday. Ban will then discuss Myanmar with the Security Council on Friday. — AP