Yangon government takes first move to bring Reuters to court

The Yangon government has filed a complaint against international news agency Reuters before the Myanmar Press Council over a report about the alleged lack of transparency in the procurement of buses, a senior member of the council said Tuesday.

The Yangon government’s move was the first step in hauling Reuters to court, according to legal observers.

“We received the formal report letter from Yangon Region administrative office on the evening of August 14 and we’ve made the urgent meeting to negotiate this case,” said U Thiha Saw, the secretary of the Myanmar Press Council.

The news feature story entitled “Suu Kyi’s man in Yangon under fire over transit deal with China” was published in international newspapers and online websites on August 6. It was also published in local newspaper The Irrawaddy News by translating from Reuters.

The feature is about the lack of transparency of the Yangon government in the procurement of the buses for the government-run Yangon Bus System.

The Myanmar Press Council has already invited both Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and representatives of Reuters in Myanmar to come to the Myanmar Press Council office to discuss the issue.

The chief minister didn’t exactly mention about the facts he wanted cleared in the feature story. The complaint needs to mention the exact facts to solve the problem between both of them, said U Aung Hla Tun, the president of Myanmar Press Council.

“I am so pleased to receive this report. I feel that Myanmar Press Council is becoming important in cases involving Myanmar Media,” U Aung Hla Tun said. “We will try our best to negotiate as the representative organization of Media in Myanmar as well.”

Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein also filed a complaint against the Eleven Media Group in November 2016 before the council, but the issue was not settled and the chief minister filed a court case against the CEO and the chief editor of Eleven Media Group for violations of Telecommunication Law, section 66(d), which is still under litigation.

Source: Myanmar Times