Journalists readmitted following ‘Nap-pyidaw’ reports

Journalists readmitted following ‘Nap-pyidaw’ reports

Journalists and camera teams are to be readmitted to parliamentary sessions, according to an announcement on Thursday by Thi Thi Nwe, the deputy-director general of the Union Parliament in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw.

The announcement comes just two days after reporters were banned from entering parliament’s press gallery after footage and pictures of MPs sleeping through debates circulated widely on social media and drew much criticism.

The Naypyidaw-based media were told access to the media room overlooking the chamber was henceforth restricted, and they were shown to a corridor outside the media room where a TV was mounted on a wall, displaying action from the assembly.

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Thi Thi Nwe said that reporters will be readmitted to the media room as from 1 June.

Press freedom was initially one of the hallmarks of the new government under President Thein Sein after it was elected in 2011. However, a series of arrests, restrictions, deportations and even the murder of a journalist while in military custody has drastically diminished any openness that was promised.

 

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