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Journals forced to print pro-junta articles

(Mizzima News/IFEX) - Domestic journals in Burma are under pressure from the military regime's censor board to print pro-junta articles, editors said.

Explaining in a recent article that "the current period is not yet ripe for full press freedom in Burma," the censor board director, Ma. Tint Swe, ordered journals to print two press releases.

The first article related to the dispute between Burmese and Bangladeshi workers in a Jordanian factory, which was resolved through the intervention of the Burmese ambassador to Israel. The other was about a shooting incident in Pegu Division, Thegone Township, between two military units, which the censor described as just a rumor.

The censor also forced journals to print an article attacking the BBC, entitled "Beware of concocting, fabricated and instigating broadcasters", one editor told Mizzima.

Ironically, news coverage of the incident in Jordan had been banned earlier by the government. On 5 January 2010, a Burmese female worker and a Bangladeshi laborer in a textile factory in Jordan had a quarrel that later triggered a brawl between the two groups of workers. Some 20 Burmese workers were hurt. As a result, the factory's 580 Burmese laborers refused to work for nine days. At first, the censor board did not allow the publication of this news but changed its mind after the Burmese ambassador to Israel went to Jordan to help resolve the issue.

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