28 November 2010
Burma's "thought police" have wasted no time in imposing new laws to restrict freedom of speech for Members of
Parliament in the new government.
Earlier this month, the military's political arm - the Union Solidarity and Development Party - swept to power in a sham
election, controlled by the military and directly supervised by the army.
The new laws, signed by junta supremo General Than Shwe, ensure that the military retains power behind the scenes, as
well as in parliament. They specify that parliamentarians will be allowed freedom of expression, unless their speeches
"endanger national security, the unity of the country or violate the constitution". They also stipulate a two-year
prison term for those who stage protests inside parliament grounds.
So, in Burma, George Orwell's words ring true: "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past."