Media


The Pathein District Court in Irrawaddy Division denied a bail request on Monday from Nay Myo Wai, an ultra-nationalist politician charged with defamation under Burma’s Telecommunications Law.

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Pe Myint, 67, Myanmar’s new minister of information, hails from Rakhine state in the northwest of the country. A doctor by training, he has written 50 books of fiction and non-fiction about the country, and translated the works of others from English — none of which got him into trouble with the authorities. He received journalism training from the Bangkok-based Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in the 1990s, and was appointed to his challenging new position by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s effective prime minister. On April 1, she instructed all her ministers to prepare 100-day plans. None has yet begun to be implemented, and exact synchronization looks unlikely. An important part of Minister Pe Myint’s brief is introducing the citizens of Myanmar to some unfamiliar concepts, including freedom of speech and information, and responsive government. The minister recently talked exclusively to the Nikkei Asian Review.

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Members of Myanmar’s film community say they are disappointed but not surprised by an official decision to block a feature screening at a human rights-themed film festival in Yangon.

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“Twilight Over Burma,” a film about a Shan leader and his Austrian wife, will be subjected to the scrutiny of the film censorship board before it receives permission to be premiered in Burma at the annual Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, which starts Tuesday, according to a board member.

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Fellow journalists Tuesday criticised the jailing of a local BBC reporter, saying the sentence could damage the reputation of Myanmar’s new democratic government.

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Back in 2011, the United States Campaign for Burma (USCB), a lobby group from America, asked the U.S. government to impose sanctions against 42 people who allegedly supported the military junta regime in Myanmar. They argued that generals, their families and cronies reap massive profits from a bevy of industries and save them in offshore accounts.

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Aspiring filmmakers, it’s time to get working on your screenplays. A call for feature-length film scripts will open in July to help emerging directors fund and workshop innovative movie ideas to foster Burma’s cinematic renaissance.

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Myanmar’s largest operator MPT has launched Free Basics and Facebook Flex to give subscribers free access to basic information and resources on the the internet.

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A Mandalay-based journalist working for the BBC’s Burmese language news service was sentenced on police assault charges to three months’ imprisonment with hard labor by Mandalay’s Chanmyathazi Township court on Monday.

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Myanmar has taken steps toward media liberalisation but still has a long way to go before it enjoys a truly free press, according to a sector survey published yesterday.

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In what it has called an assault on press freedom, Burmese news agency Myanmar Cable News has publicly condemned the Myanmar Patriotic Monks Union, one of several hardline Buddhist nationalist groups in Burma, for allegedly obstructing and intimidating one of its junior reporters.

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Veteran actor and scriptwriter Aye Kyu Lay is vice-president of the Myanmar Motion Picture Organisation, a non-profit organisation that supports Burma’s film industry. In this interview with DVB, he discusses piracy, censorship, the decline of cinemas, and other issues affecting an industry that is just beginning to come to terms with Burma’s greater openness in the wake of recent reforms.

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A court in Burma sentenced a young poet to six months in jail on Tuesday for defaming former president Thein Sein, making him one of the first political activists sentenced since Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi took power in April.

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A man who allegedly made a fraudulent Facebook account under the name of Nay Myo Wai, the chairperson of the Peace and Diversity Party, was arrested after he posted remarks about the commander-in-chief of defence services and government officials on Monday. He is being investigated under Section 66(d) of the Telecommunication Law, reports say.

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Without transparency, a government cannot earn a good public reputation, and ministerial and departmental spokespersons must be answerable to the media, Minister for Information U Pe Myint told senior government officials yesterday.

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One of the many buzzwords hovering around Burma’s transition to democracy is “access to information.” Indeed, the call for crafting legislation on the right to information could not have come at a better time.

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Information Minister Pe Myint at a media seminar in Rangoon presented a plan to transform the state media as a communication platform between the government and the people, and urged private agencies to contribute in an effort for media development in Burma.

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Burma Campaign UK has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Maung Saungkha and urged the Myanmar government to reform the Prisoners of Conscience Affairs Committee and to ensure the release of Maung Saungkha and all remaining political prisoners in Myanmar.
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Burma’s Lower House Speaker Win Myint warned parliamentarians on Wednesday not to post comments on social media that “would undermine the dignity and integrity of Parliament,” after a lawmaker took to Facebook to express disappointment that a proposal she had put forward was rejected.
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Burma’s Union Election Commission says that it can’t take action against a party led by a politician accused of making defamatory comments about the country’s political and military leaders because it hasn’t received a formal complaint against him.
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