U2 Album Banned in Burma

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11.28.00 - Rolling Stone

It's been a long time since Bono marched around stage waving a white flag, but the outspoken Irishman and the rest of his cohorts in U2 apparently still have a knack for buggin' certain people, particularly when they mean to. The band's new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, has been banned in Burma by the country's ruling military dictatorship.

The reason? The song "Walk On," which is dedicated in the album's liner notes to Daw Aung San Sun Kyi, the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement who has been under virtual house arrest since 1989 along with other members of her National League for Democracy. The liner notes also list a Web and mailing address for the pro-democracy Burma Campaign. According to a BBC transcript of a Burmese opposition radio report, Burma's SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) military intelligence office has barred the import of any magazine, journal or tape that so much as mentions Aung San Sun Kyi's name. Doing so carries a fine of three to twenty years in prison.

U2 have devoted space on their newly launched Web site, www.U2.com, to the plight of democracy in Burma, crediting the nation's military dictatorship -- a "destructive tyranny" which has ruled since 1962 -- with "one of the worst human rights records in the world." Charges against the regime include the use of more child soldiers than any other country in the world, the forced labor of eight million men, women and children, an ethnic cleansing campaign against half a million Shan, Karen and Karenni people and the detainment of more than 1,500 political prisoners.

According to their Web site, U2 was scheduled to film a video for "Walk On" last week in Rio de Janeiro with Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, who shot their recent clip for "Beautiful Day." "Walk On" will be the band's next single in America. (A different single, "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," has been picked for the European market -- with a video set to be filmed this week in Los Angeles).

RICHARD SKANSE
(November 28, 2000)

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on November 28, 2000 12:13 AM.

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