Despite a government announcement that more than 2,000 names were removed from the country’s blacklist, journalists and academics whose names were excised from the infamous directory are still unable to secure Burmese visas.

Bertil Lintner, who has written several books about the country and has been on the infamous blacklist since the 1980s, has yet to be given a visa since his name was removed from the list on 28 August.

“I’ve applied three times and I’ve sent them emails everyday,” said Lintner, adding that he’s tried to contact the Ministry of Information’s Deputy Minister Ye Htut and Deputy Directory Myint Kyaw directly. According to Lintner, others who were also supposedly removed from the list have also been unable to enter the country. “I’m aware of at least five – journalists and academics,” said Lintner.

“They will get their visas issued within an appropriate time-frame – in like one or two weeks’ time,” Deputy Directory Myint Kyaw told DVB. The deputy director said the delay was caused by confusion concerning which ministry should be handling the visa, although the official admitted that journalists’ visas are the responsibility of the MOI.

“It’s still a problem for the Burmese government to allow for the free flow of foreign journalists into the country,” said Reporters Without Borders. “They still want to control who is entering and who’s not.” “We will have no other choice than to consider that it’s a deliberate refusal of the visa, which is disguised in the absence of an answer.”

2012.09.20 DVB govt-prevents-journalists-academics-from-entering-burma