YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar's new reformist government has abolished a 25-year-old ban on public gatherings of more than five people. The 1988 order was issued on the day a military junta took power after crushing nationwide pro-democracy protests.
The state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported Tuesday that Order No 2/88 was abolished as it was not in line with a section of the constitution that says existing laws should remain valid as long as are not contrary to the constitution, which guarantees basic rights such as freedom of expression.
The order had been applied selectively as a tool to crush dissent against the military regimes that held sway until the elected government of President Thein Sein took office in 2011. His administration has instituted political liberalization, including the revocation of strict censorship.