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Ministry drops lawsuit against newspaper

The defamation lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Construction (MoC)’s Public Construction Department (PCD) against Modern Weekly has been dropped.

The suit was filed after the news journal reported on poor road conditions concerning the transportation route in Mandalay Division connecting Thabeikkyin and Taguang townships.

According to the article, vehicles were forced to drive on off-road tracks and pay ‘toll-fees’ for using the makeshift lanes by the PCD in Thabeikkyin.

On March 6, Thabeikkyin PCD’s engineer Nwe Nwe Yee filed a defamation lawsuit in the township’s court against the Modern Weekly’s editor and the reporter who wrote the article.

Modern Weekly’s Kyaw Yin Myint welcomed the MoC’s decision to drop the lawsuit.

“This [decision] highlights a signal that [government ministries] want to develop a good relationship with the media,” said said Kyaw Yin Myint.

“[It] would be good if the government’s ministries and departments, and the media could get along with each other – there will be mistakes from the both sides, but it would be more convenient if we have patience and negotiate with each other.”

Kyaw Linn, executive director of the Public Construction Department said: “For us, the media is the fourth pillar of the country and we look to head in a better direction while joining hands with the media.”

Meanwhile, a hearing concerning another defamation lawsuit – filed by the Ministry of Mining against the Voice Weekly – that was set for 22 March has been postponed.


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