2 October 2008


Weekly journal suspended for one month by censor board, another weekly faces two-month suspension

Incident details

(Mizzima/IFEX) - The publishing licenses of two Rangoon-based weekly journals have been suspended for alleged violation of the policy and regulations of the Press Scrutiny Board (censor board).

The censor board suspended the publishing licenses of "True News" for two months and "The Action Times" for a month, media circles in Rangoon said.

"The Action Times", which is published every Monday, was suspended for one month after the news of the release of U Win Tin from prison appeared in its latest issue, Vol. 38, with a slight modification from the approved version. The weekly referred to him as "Sayagyi" ("Great Master") Win Tin, contrary to the copy permitted by the censor board. "The journal was banned for this [change]," an editor of a weekly journal said on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, an "Action Times" spokesperson replied, "The Board of Editors does not want to release any news on this. We don't want to say anything".

A photograph of a child labourer in a construction site appeared on the front page of "True News" with the caption, "A child working in a construction site near Phuket seaside resort, Thailand". As a result, the journal was suspended for two months.

"The censor board had permitted this photograph but it had no caption when submitted. The caption was written shortly before publication. The censor board then banned the publication on account of 'inadequate page layout design'," an editor said on condition of anonymity.

Another journal editor confirmed this, saying, "the journal was banned for its failure to submit the complete page layout design".

The censor board summoned the editors of the journals to its office and informed them about its decision. However, an official from the censor board declined to give details saying, "We are not authorized to say," when contacted by Mizzima over the telephone.

Hein Lat, editor of the weekly news journal "Popular Journal" said, "I heard that they were suspended for a while on account of publishing the stories which violated the policy and regulation of the censor board".


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