27 November 2000
Don't Mean To Bug Ya
Following our story last week, inviting fans to lobby European politicians in advance of a meeting with Burmese politicians, Burma has announced it is banning All That You Can't Leave Behind from sale in the country.
We can't claim any credit for this. Blame the band for dedicating the track Walk On to pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and encouraging fans on the album sleeve notes to support the people of Burma living under a repressive military dictatorship.
According to Democratic Voice of Burma radio, The SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] Military Intelligence [MI] has issued an order barring the import of magazines, journals, and tapes that contain the name of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi into Burma and offenders will be sentenced to a minimum of three years to a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.
It has been known that they have also banned the recently released album All That You Can't Leave Behind by the [Irish] pop group, U2, which included the song "Walk On".
DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] correspondent Myint Maung Maung reported that 'The album was banned because it includes a song "Walk On" written by U2 band leader Bono and dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement in Burma. Another song Prat Phom Kyai which is also about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and written and sung by Thai singer Kewsan was also banned in 1995. An Indian film comparing the political activities of Mrs Indira Ghandi [assassinated former Indian prime minister] and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was prohibited from being shown at cinemas in Burma.'
So anyone taking a copy of All That You Can't Leave Behind into Burma could be imprisoned for up to 20 years. If you believe that Aung San Suu Kyi, and her senior National League for Democracy (NLD) colleagues, should be released from house arrest, you can e-mail your politicians - in Europe - before their upcoming meeting, or visit a site of one of the campaign groups working to bring democracy to Burma.
(rest of world) www.freeburmacoalition.org
Find out more by visiting our earlier U2.COM story