“In some places including Yangon, the township administrators have banned public speeches. That is why we are calling for more freedom of speech,” said Thida (Sanchaung), the chairperson of PEN Myanmar.

Throughout the history, the dictators had restricted the freedom of expression and the five-decade long tyranny censorship had also blindfolded the people, the announcement continues.
The state-run media are full of propaganda and have been lobbying for the government’s objectives and policies for many decades.
The censorship had overruled the literacy rights and extended the tight grips on the writers till the middle 2012.

Along with the political transition, the people have started to enjoy the factual data and information from some independent news agencies. However the state-run media continue to serve as the government’s propaganda mechanism.

The announcement urges state organisation not to subjugate the writers and public speeches as the people only have the rights to disagree.

PEN Myanmar is part of PEN International, the organisation devoted to promote freedom among writers. 

In an announcement posted on PEN International’s website in November, the organisation noted that there have been very few public workshops on creative writing in Myanmar due to the strict state censorship rules. Similarly, interactive panel discussions between writers and readers were very rare. In order to counter this, PEN Myanmar has been organising open, public, interactive panel discussions across Myanmar to encourage dialogue between writers and readers. To reach out to all groups of society, PEN Myanmar organised literary discussions in public places, including on trains, at bus stops and widely distributed the PEN Myanmar newsletter. In addition, PEN Myanmar has recognised the need for writers to be able to communicate with their peers internationally as well as to carry out advocacy around freedom of expression issues before the international community and has therefore started a training session for writers in English.