Rangoon (Mizzima) – Looking for information about the Burmese government?
Don’t go to the official governmental websites because most provide little information and often they do not update what information they have for months or years.
In short, they are nearly worthless compared to neighboring countries, which recognize the importance of the Internet and public communication and incude some information in English.
Thirty-one out of the 34 ministries of the new government have official websites.
Key ministries without a website include the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Border Affairs and the Ministry of Electric Power (2).
Moreover, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Mines, the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education have their respective website addresses, they often cannot be accessed.
To see a list of ministry websites and addresses, go to http://www.myanmar.com/ministries/index.html
One journalist said, “If we want to get some facts about our country, we have to look for information from such places as the CIA’s World Factbook,” or other outside sources, some of which appear to have more information about the government than the government itself.
“The websites of the ministries in Burma are almost useless,” he said, and some are more than useless, because they do not even exist. Needless to say, there is almost no information on the ministry websites in English.
Both the former junta and the new government claim they have tried to implement E-government system by using the Internet, but there is no evidence that any ministry has come anywhere near to accomplishing that lofty goal.
Perhaps the most up-to-date ministry website is the Ministry of Communication, Posts and Telegraph. A quick survey showed that it publishes, on average, about one time a week.
Aung Zaw Myint, an executive committee member of Myanmar Computer Professionals Association, said the ministries should make a priority of effectively implementing the E-government system because it can benefit not only citizens but also the government itself.
Although all of the official governmental websites have weaknesses, the official website of the president’s office, which was launched in early May, is said to be more up-to-date. More people visit the president’s office website to try to get a sense of what’s going on, according to regular Internet users. However, it offers little information in English.