The muzzling of the Myanmar Times

Myanmar’s English newspaper of record has outlasted the jailing of one of its founders for contrived offences, a suffocating censorship regime not lifted until 2012 and a controversial early connection with the junta. It may not outlast its current management.


THE NEWSPAPER lived long enough to vindicate its existence, a distinction not shared by many of its critics. It was mocked and denounced as a propaganda tool of the military regime, often by those who did not understand that it was as stifled by censorship as much as any other newspaper. Its cofounders were arrested; one, U Sonny Swe, spent eight years in some of the country’s worst prisons. After he was arrested in November 2004, Myanmar Times was forced to relinquish a controlling stake to a junta crony who hoped to use it as a springboard for an attempt at a parliamentary sinecure that ended in

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