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Burma Increases Tourist Visa Applicant Screening

Burma: Increase Screening of Tourist Visa Applicants

The Burmese junta is tightening control over tourist visas being issued in the run-up to the constitutional referendum, scheduled for May.

In the past, most tourists have entered Burma on a flight from Thailand, having obtained a Burmese tourist visa from one of Bangkok's many travel agencies. Now the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok requires the passport holder to appear in person at the embassy.

The Burmese generals accused foreign journalists of entering the country on tourist visas to report on last year's "Saffron Revolution". Kenji Nagai, the Japanese photo-journalist who was shot dead at point blank range by a Burmese soldier on September 27, entered the country on a tourist visa.

This time the junta seems determined to keep foreign journalists out of the country during the May referendum.


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