Myanmar authorities on Friday expelled CNN South—East Asia correspondent Dan Rivers, after officially inviting him to attend an annual military parade, sources said.
Mr. Rivers arrived in Yangon on Thursday, travelling on a journalist visa allowing him to cover Armed Forces Day, an annual parade presided over by the military junta’s chief, Senior General Than Shwe, in the military’s capital of Naypyitaw, 320 kilometres north of Yangon.
“I was a bit surprised that they allowed me in because the last time I was here they had deported me,” Mr. Rivers said in Naypyitaw, shortly before his most recent deportation.
Mr. Rivers had last entered Myanmar in May 2008, travelling on a tourist visa to cover the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, which killed about 140,000 people. Myanmar’s ruling junta was widely criticized at the time for failing to facilitate visas for foreign relief workers seeking to enter the country to assist the disaster—hit communities.
Foreign journalists were also barred from entering, but that is the norm in Myanmar, where the regime keeps a tight grip on local reporters and only occasionally allows foreign reporters to enter officially, usually on junkets that serve its own political purposes.
Mr. Rivers was initially granted a journalist visa to cover the Armed Forces Day on Saturday but then was suddenly escorted back to Yangon without explanation.
“A special agent came and told him he would not be allowed to attend Armed Forces Day and took him to the airport,” a witness said. Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. Senior General Than Shwe has promised to hold a general election some time this year, but few predict the polls would be either free or fair.