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Journals in Burma forced to publish pro–junta articles

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Domestic journals in Burma have come under renewed pressure from the military regime’s censor board to print two pro-junta articles, editors in Rangoon said.

The censorship board has forced private journals to print two news articles – one related to case of Burmese workers in a Jordanian factory, which was resolved by the intervention of the Burmese ambassador to Israel.

The other is an article denying the BBC Burmese service radio’s report about an internal dispute at Light Infantry Division (LID) 66, based in Innma village of Thegone Tonwship in Pegu Division.journal-myanmar

“The censor board forced us to print news and an article of their choice. The more urgent one was the article attacking the BBC news story,” a Rangoon based journal editor told Mizzima.

The article given for compulsory printing was titled ‘Beware of concocting, fabricated and instigating broadcasters’ and written by a pen name ‘Man Thar Sein’ (Phapon), the Editor added.

The article alleged the ‘opposition groups’ are ‘sowing dissension in the Tatmadaw (army)’.

Though the Burmese censorship earlier banned journals from reporting about the case of Burmese workers in Jordan, it has reverted now and forced journals to publish about the problem of Burmese workers in Jordan being resolved.

The news about the brawl and physical assault of a Burmese woman worker by a Bangladeshi worker, which left 20 Burmese women workers injured at the Century Miracle Ltd. in Ar Ramtha, Jordan early this month was banned by the censor board.

After the brawl, Burmese workers refused to go to work demanding security at the worksite and life insurance. The strike continued for nine days before being resolved by the intervention of the Burmese ambassador to Israel.

The incident was reported by some domestic journals but was not passed by the censor board.

The censor board, which controls scrutinize all publications, often pressured journals to publish pro-junta articles attacking opposition groups but would not allow any news and articles critical to the regime.

The present director of the board Maj. Tint Swe, dubbed by most of the press circle as ‘moderate’ compared to his predecessors, defended their position in an article, saying “Currently Burma is not yet ready for full press freedom, but it needs the duty consciousness by every citizen, spirit of good citizen and maturity. These are the prerequisites for the current situation”.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 January 2010 13:21 )  

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