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Bye-bye Burma, mingalarbar Myanmar


mizzima-logo-new(Editorial) – As from today, Mizzima will refer to the country as “Myanmar” on its English-language website.

This change of vocabulary does not reflect a change of heart; rather, it is an editorial decision based on several simple practicalities.

As an exile media organization that has supported pro-democracy forces for many years, the time has come to recognize that a new dawn is upon us, and to revert to a phraseology that is accepted by almost everyone else in the political arena, the business world and the international media.

Diplomats, embassy staff, businessmen, NGO workers and local people themselves use the term “Myanmar” in daily parlance. Therefore, as a media organization covering business and politics, we must continually quote our sources accurately and repeat the exact terminology that they choose to employ. To use combinations of diction is akin to jumping between languages, and is confusing to readers. It also leads to unnecessarily long-winded sentences littered with explanatory clauses.

Agencies and offices that insist on using a combination of both words, “Burma” and “Myanmar”, continually find themselves at odds with themselves, working overtime to juggle which expression to employ in which circumstance, and turning the vernacular into a political statement.

Of course, there are many in the activist and exile communities that see the use of the term “Myanmar” as a bow to military rule. Perhaps it still rings shrill to many foreigners who support Aung San Suu Kyi and the pro-democracy movement. However, the fact of the matter is that the word “Myanmar” is used in the native tongue by everyone – Suu Kyi included – and therefore is inoffensive to the people of this nation.

Mizzima has ended its exile. We are now a Myanmar-based firm with more than 60 staff in Yangon working on a business news TV program, the Mizzima Weekly Journal and an English-language business weekly, M-ZINE+, in addition to our websites which carry daily news in both languages.

As such we have acknowledged the advancement in this country and the process of reform has been sufficiently inspirational to bring us into the fold. We are investing in the new Myanmar, and we are changing with the times.

What will not change is Mizzima’scommitment to the truth. We will continue to investigate and report on the government’s failings, on land seizures, on the conflict in Kachin State, Rakhine State and elsewhere, to monitor human rights abuses, inequality and corruption, and to give voice to those who oppose injustice – whichever parlance they prefer to use.
For a full list of Mizzima products and contact details, please go to: http://www.mizzima.com/contact-us.html
Last Updated ( Monday, 04 February 2013 12:19 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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