Thursday, 21 November 2019

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Original publisher to retake magazine after six-month ban

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The original publisher of New Style Aung Soe Thu will republish the monthly magazine focused on political issues next month after a six-month ban imposed by the Burmese ruling military junta’s censorship board, he said.

The Press Scrutiny and Registration Division under the Information Ministry, popularly known as the censor board, had suspended the publication since July this year after the magazine’s Martyrs’ Day special. It has been granted permission to republish in January.

Aung Soe Thu denied rumours of taking on his publishing licence again due to pressure from junta authorities after leasing the licence out to a third party for about two years.

“I stopped leasing out my license but not because of official pressure. I decided to publish it [New Style] myself,” Aung Soe Thu told Mizzima.

“I have to reconsider [the licence issue] after getting permission from the censor board to republish this magazine. The publishing license will be revoked permanently if the lessee violates the regulation again. I then decided to republish this magazine myself as I have to abide by the regulations imposed by the state while I am living in this country,” he added.

He had been leasing his New Style magazine publishing licence to magazine editors Yamone and Toe Kyaw Hlaing since 2008.

Aung Soe Thu was publishing The First Music weekly journal and had published New Style for 11 years in the past after which he stopped because of poor health and financial constraints.

After publishing supplementary pages in a Martyrs’ Day special section in July, the censor board suspended the magazine’s publication indefinitely.

The licence lessee and magazine editor Yamone said that it had lost at least four million kyat (about US$4,000) in expenses for office rent, staff salaries, licence fees and miscellaneous items during the suspension period from August.

“We don’t focus on profit-making in publishing this magazine. We published it for … serious readers and to write on the background history of our country … [and] at a loss. We want our young people to be aware of historical facts they are without access to,” editor Yamone said.


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