The publisher of The Sunlight weekly news journal, Yu Naing, has confirmed that the publication has been permanently closed down following a dispute over its editorial integrity.
Yu Naing said he decided to pull the plug on the journal, known in Burmese as Thuriya Ahlin, because the publication’s chief executive officer, Moe Hein, continued to publish articles attacking public individuals despite opposition from the publisher and the editorial team.
A recent controversy resulted over a Sunlight cover story, the metaphorical title of which loosely translates as “The full moon is always followed by a black moon: Full moon in Moscow”, which many observers took as a veiled gibe aimed at a well-known Rangoon socialite and a Burmese beauty queen.
“Both myself and our senior editors warned the CEO not to publish articles that are deemed as personal attacks aimed at discrediting certain individuals, and we decided to suspend the publication as he would not take heed,” said Yu Naing.
The announcement by the publisher came after the journal’s CEO Moe Hein spoke out about an alleged incident last weekend when 15 men supposedly raided The Sunlight’s main office, seizing computers and shutting down CCTV cameras.
Speaking to DVB, Yu Naing maintained it was his own decision to shut down the office, not the decision of anyone associated with the alleged intruders.
He said he acted to shut down the publication abruptly at a late hour to prevent the latest issue being circulated the following morning.
On Monday, The Sunlight published an apology in state media. “The publisher and editorial board of Thuriya Ahlin would like to extend a sincere apology to those offended by the articles published through the journal’s issues 1 to 12 despite repeated objections by the publisher and editorial board to the chief executive officer to stop commissioning articles that contained personal attacks on individuals; and we would like to inform the public that publication of the Thuriya Ahlin journal has been permanently suspended.