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Online Burma/Myanmar Library

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Retricted access to health information

Individual Documents

Title: FATAL SILENCE? Freedom of Expression and the Right to Health in Burma
Date of publication: July 1996
Description/subject: The Online Burma Library contains two versions of this 1996 report -- in html with added URLs of references not available online in 1996 and a Word version, without these additions, which keeps, so far as possible, the format of the hard copy. "Censorship has long concealed a multitude of grave issues in Burma (Myanmar. After decades of governmental secrecy and isolation, Burma was dramatically thrust into world headlines during the short-lived democracy uprising in the summer of 1988. But, while international concern and pressure has since continued to mount over the country's long-standing political crisis, the health and humanitar­ian consequences of over 40 years of political malaise and ethnic con­flict have largely been neglected. Indeed, in many parts of the country, they remain totally unaddressed. There are many elements involved in addressing the health cri­sis which now besets Burma's peoples. A fundamental aspect, in ARTICLE 19's view, is for the rights to freedom of expression and information, together with the right to democratic participation, to be ensured. In a context of censorship and secrecy, individuals cannot make informed decisions on important matters affecting their health. Without freedom of academic research and the ability to disseminate research findings, there can be no informed public debate. Denial of research and information also makes effective health planning and provision less likely at the national level. Without local participation, founded on freedom of expression and access to information, the health needs of many sections of society are likely to remain unaddressed. Likewise, secrecy and censorship have a negative impact on the work of international humanitarian agencies..."
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Article 19
Format/size: html (1.1MB), Word (589K), pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/burma-fatal-silence-.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2003