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Swedish journalist Bertil Lintner, who has been covering Burma for more than two decades, is set to visit Rangoon after being blacklisted by the government since the 1980s.
Lintner received a seven-day visa from the government and will travel to Burma next week.
“I haven’t been to Rangoon since 1989 so it comes as a bit of a surprise that I got a visa,” Lintner told DVB.
Despite a government announcement in late August that more than 2,000 names were removed from the country’s blacklist, Lintner was among the handful of journalists and academics whose names were excised from the directory but were still unable to secure a Burmese visa.
After being banned for 23 years from entering the country, Lintner says he’s hoping to spend most of his time back talking to people on the streets rather than meeting with the country’s bigger names.
“I’m not interested in meeting any big shots from the government or the opposition. I want to meet normal people, ordinary people and see what they think and feel about what’s happening in the country now,” said Lintner.
“I’ll probably be spending a lot of time in Burmese tea shops I guess.”
Lintner said he had also made contact with members of the 88 Generation Students and Generation Wave.
While the government is beginning to allow foreign reporters to enter the country more regularly, journalists are only able to travel within the country for short periods of time.