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Media censorship was

Media censorship was significantly eased in August 2012 following demonstrations by hundreds of protesters who wore shirts demanding that the government "Stop Killing the Press."[215] The most significant change has come in the form that media organisations will no longer have to submit their content to a censorship board before publication. However, as explained by one editorial in the exiled press The Irrawaddy, this new "freedom" has caused some Burmese journalists to simply see the new law as an attempt to create an environment of self-censorship as journalists "are required to follow 16 guidelines towards protecting the three national causes:

and "journalistic ethics" to ensure their stories are accurate and do not jeopardise national security."and "journalistic ethics" to ensure their stories are accurate and do not jeopardise national security."[215]

In July 2014, five journalists were sentenced to 10 years in jail after publishing a report saying the country was planning to build a new

In July 2014, five journalists were sentenced to 10 years in jail after publishing a report saying the country was planning to build a new chemical weapons plant. Journalists described the imprisonment as a blow to the recently-won news media freedoms that had followed five decades of censorship and persecution.[216] Two Reuters journalists were imprisoned in December 2017 for violating state secrets law when they were covering the mass exodus of the Rohingya Muslim minority.[217]

According to the Crisis Group,[218] since Myanmar transitioned to a new government in August 2011, the country's human rights record has been improving. Previously giving Myanmar its lowest rating of 7, the 2012 Freedom in the World report also notes improvement, giving Myanmar a 6 for improvements in civil liberties and political rights, the release of political prisoners, and a loosening of restrictions.[219] In 2013, Myanmar improved yet again, receiving a score of 5 in civil liberties and 6 in political freedoms.[220]

The government has assembled a National Human Rights Commission that consists of 15 members from various backgrounds.[221] Several activists in exile, including Thee Lay Thee Anyeint members, have returned to Myanmar after President Thein Sein's invitation to expatriates to return home to work for national development.[222] In an address to the United Nations Security Council on 22 September 2011, Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin confirmed the government's intention to release prisoners in the near future.[223]

The government has also relaxed reporting laws, but these remain highly restrictive.[224] In September 2011, several banned websites, including YouTube, Democratic Voice of Burma and Voice of America, were unblocked.[225] A 2011 report by the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations found that, while contact with the Myanmar government was constrained by donor restrictions, international humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) see opportunities for effective advocacy with government officials, especially at the local level. At the same time, international NGOs are mindful of the ethical quandary of how to work with the government without bolstering or appeasing it.[226]

Following Thein Sein's first ever visit to the UK and a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Myanmar president declared that all of his nation's political prisoners will be released by the end of 2013, in addition to a statement of support for the well-being of the Rohingya Muslim community. In a speech at Chatham House, he revealed that "We [Myanmar government] are reviewing all cases. I guarantee to you that by the end of this year, there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.", in addition to expressing a desire to strengthen links between the UK and Myanmar's military forces.[227]

Homosexual acts are illegal in Myanmar and can be punishable by life imprisonment.[228][229]

In 2016, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was accused of failing to protect Myanmar's Muslim minority.[230] Since August 2017 Doctors Without Borders have treated 113 Rohingya refugee females for sexual assault with all but one describing military assailants.[231]

illegal in Myanmar and can be punishable by life imprisonment.[228][229]

In 2016, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was accused of failing to protect Myanmar's Muslim minority.[230] Since August 2017 Doctors Without Borders have treated 113 Rohingya refugee females for sexual assault with all but one describing military assailants.[231]

There has been speculation that Myanmar is interested in developing nuclear weapons, and that North Korea was planning to export nuclear technology to Myanmar.[232] These reports are based on evidence gathered from anti-government Burmese.[232] Myanmar is a signatory to a special ASEAN treaty that bans all types of nuclear weapons in signatory states in Southeast Asia.[233] As of 2019, the United States Bureau of Arms Control assessed that Myanmar is not in violation of its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty but that the Myanmar government had a history of non-transparency on its nuclear programs and aims.[234]

Combating climate change

Previously and currently analysed data, as well as future projections on changes caused by climate change predict serious consequences to development for all economic, productive, social, and environmental sectors in Myanmar.[235] In order to combat the hardships ahead and do its part to help combat climate change Myanmar has displayed interest in expanding its use of renewable energy and lowering its level of carbon emissions. Groups involved in helping Myanmar with the transition and move forward include the UN Environment Programme, Myanmar Climate Change Alliance, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation which directed in producing the final draft of the Myanmar national climate change policy that was presented to various sectors of the Myanmar government for review.[236]

In April 2015, it was announced that the World Ba