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Burmese Military Government Hikes Satellite TV Fees

Burma's military government has unexpectedly raised the annual fee for television satellite dishes in an apparent attempt to block public access to outside broadcasts.

The massive price hike was discovered when residents went to renew their licenses Wednesday. They were told the annual fee had increased from about $5 to nearly $800.

Officials at Burma's Post and Telecom offices confirmed the increase, but did not comment on why it was made.

Satellite dish owners have until the end of January to pay the new fee or face fines.

Foreign news channels and dissident broadcasts were a main source of information for people in Burma during last year's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy and anti-government protests.