Burma Takes 2K Off Blacklist

But they're not saying which activists are allowed back into the country
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2012 10:49 AM CDT
Burma Takes 2K Off Blacklist
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh poses at a news conference to promote her movie "The Lady" in Hong Kong Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Yeoh was blacklisted after playing Aung San Suu Kyi in the movie.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Burma's increasingly reform-minded government has taken 2,082 names off the infamous blacklist that bars many activists, artists, and journalists from re-entering the country, state-run media reported today. The catch? Officials aren't saying which 2,082 people are coming off the list, just as they've never divulged the contents of the list itself, leaving exiles unsure if it is safe to return, the Wall Street Journal reports; many of the exiles the newspaper contacted said that, as far as they knew, they were still banned.

"This is a PR move—just like the way they release dissidents," while leaving others in prison, said one blacklisted economist in London. Until now, the government has largely avoided even acknowledging the list. But today's announcement indicated that it contained a total of 6,165 names. "Companies and persons from all fields including media men were blacklisted … in the national interest," the government-run paper said, but now they're relaxing the list "in accord with the reforming system." (More Burma stories.)

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