Mon 30 Jul 2007
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Hearing of a defamation case against Weekly Eleven, a Burmese journal was postponed by the Tarmway Township court in Rangoon today. The Burmese Cultural Ministry’s historical research department has pressed charges against the weekly for publishing a report it considers defamatory.
The department earlier this month sued the Weekly Eleven, a Rangoon based Burmese journal, over a report it published in December 2006.
Though the editor of the weekly journal arrived for the court hearing, the judge decided to postpone it to August 13, sources close to the journal said.
The weekly’s report had criticized tour agencies for serving dinner on the ruins of the temples of Pagan, one of Burma’s major tourism spots, to attract tourists. The report also quoted locals, who deem such conduct as inappropriate and disrespectful towards the highly revered temples in Burma.
In a contradiction of government policies, though the Burmese censorship board, which is notorious for censoring any writing against the regime, passed the report, the Burmese Cultural Ministry’s historical research department took the journal to court.
The historical research department has charged the journal of publishing inaccurate and misleading reports. The journal editors have decided to present the censorship board as a witness to defend them, sources close to the journal said.
An editor of the journal refused to talk about the case saying, “It is still too early to say anything. We cannot say anything at the moment as the matter is in court.”
An official at the Burmese Cultural Ministry in Naypyitaw, Burma’s new jungle capital, refused to comment saying, “I am not authorized to speak and there is no officer to answer at the moment.”