Dec 6, 2007 (DVB), Business owners in Rangoon have said that the placement of government propaganda slogans above commercial billboards at junctions in the city is unfair and demeaning.
The government billboards bear a modified version of the People's Desire slogan, calling on the Burmese people to "oppose those relying on Americans, acting as stooges, holding negative views".
Some business owners were unhappy to find that the government billboards had been placed above their advertisements, and said it was unfair to put the slogans up there when the companies had paid money to the Rangoon municipal committee to rent the space.
"I don’t like having those slogans on top of my advertisement. It is disturbing," said one business owner.
The original version of the slogan read "external elements" instead of "Americans", and the new wording marks a more direct campaign against the US.
According to a confirmed source in Rangoon, the mention of the US in the propaganda campaign was planned by the Union Solidarity and Development Association and ordered by the Rangoon city mayor and secretary of the USDA, brigadier general Aung Thein Linn.
The regime has previously made allusions to the US in propaganda campaigns, referring to it as a "powerful western nation", but does not usually name the country explicitly.
In a recent government press conference on the public demonstrations in August and September, information minister Kyaw Hsan blamed the US for giving funding and training to anti-government protestors.
The government billboards are currently displayed at the intersection near Kabar Aye pagoda road and Sayar San road, near Mya Yeik Nyo hotel, and in Myaynigone township.
Reporting by DVB