The Union Parliament in Naypyidaw on Tuesday denied reporters access to the legislature’s media room after photos of MPs falling asleep during parliamentary debates went viral on social media.
Kyaw Soe, the director-general of the Union Parliament, said journalists were now banned from the media room overlooking the legislative session and, from now on, would only be permitted to follow parliamentary debates via a TV screen in the corridor outside the chamber.
He said reporters were being punished not just for taking photos of sleeping MPs but also for photographing military MPs casting votes.
Aung Thura, secretary of the Myanmar Journalist Network, said parliamentary officials should have negotiated with reporters before making such a decision.
“Ideally, we would prefer them to negotiate with us first when they are faced with decisions like this,” he said.
“It is our job to keep filming – whether they are asleep or having a fight.”