Action to be Taken Against Fake news Reports

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture has announced on April 30 that it is monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action after ‘fake news’ that Arabic schools in Thaketa township in Yangon Region were closed went viral on social media networks.

It said that such fabricated news could potentially cause conflicts and misunderstanding among the people.

Although the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture did not make any announcements on the supposed closure of two Arabic schools in Anawma 1 ward in Thaketa township, Facebook postings with accounts like May Kaythayee, Mgthar Lay, Chaw Su Win and several other accounts, falsely reported that the schools were closed and premises sealed.

The fake news reported on the Facebook accounts said that the schools were shut on April 28 after alleged complaints from a group of nationalists.

The schools were temporarily shut down on and the Thaketa township general administrator, police, some nationalists (who initiated the complaint), and officials from the schools entered the school premises. They conducted a systematic search and the findings were submitted to the regional cabinet, said Dr Wai Phyo Aung, Pyithu Hluttaw MP of Thaketa township.

“It’s not a riot. There were many curious people who came and it turned into a situation that needed to be controlled by the police. Everyone has the right and freedom to practice their own faith. But, it has to be in accordance with the constitution and procedures set by the Ministry of Religious Affairs” said Dr Wai Phyo Aung.

According to Ko Tin Lin Htike, from Myo Chit Thway Dhamma Network of Thaketa township, the present situation came about when the Arabic schools carried out religious activities although no permission was granted to them, and as a result, a report was lodged with the authorities.

One fake news report said that Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko had commented on the shutting down of mosques by saying they caused serious damage to the peaceful coexistence between religions.

The posting on Facebook was accompanied with a photograph taken during negotiations that were held on April 27 with the school officials.

One account by Chaw Su Win alleged that Thura U Aung Ko, is an oppressor of the Buddhist religion and a threat to religion.

Director U Aung San Win from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture said that fake news can create misunderstandings and conflict among the various faiths and people and can threaten the peace, security and stability of the nation, hence, it is being strictly monitored and action will be taken, if necessary.


Source: The Myanmar Times

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