Military junta shuts door on free coverage of National Convention

first_img May 12, 2021 Find out more May 31, 2021 Find out more Burma’s military government has moved to block effective coverage of the National Convention that opens on 17 May. The authorities have refused journalists visas, subjected them to intimidation, slapped on advance censorship and secured the convention centre.With four days to go, the government appears incapable of allowing discussion of a draft constitution to take place in the necessary calm and openness.Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) and the Burma Media Association urged Prime Minister, Gen. Khin Nyunt, to grant visas to all Burmese and foreign journalist who applied, to stop advance censorship, to set up a press centre with international communications and to free imprisoned journalists.The two organisations also called on the head of the military government to release Nay Min, former BBC source who has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.”His arrest and sentence only add to the pressure on Burmese journalists doing their best to provide news for foreign media,” said Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association.Lawyer Nay Min, aged around 55, was re-arrested in February 2004. He was sentenced on 7 May at a special court within the walls of Insein prison. He had already spent eight years in prison for “spreading false rumours”.He is respected by many of his Burmese colleagues as a very experienced professional. The military secret services accused him of sending information to foreign-based organisations, including media.Four others, including Nyan Htun Linn, a student activist and former office manager of a Thailand-based news website www.amyinthit.com, were also given long prison sentences. Nyan Htun Linn was sentenced to 22 years in prison for having released, particularly to journalists, a statement criticising National Convention procedures.Dozens of foreign journalists, including Agence France-Presse, Voice of America, and the Burmese and English services of the BBC World Service, who applied for visas to cover the convention, received no reply from the Burmese authorities. However a Bangkok-based foreign journalist was given permission to travel to Rangoon.The National Convention is being held at Nyaunghnapin around 40 kms north of Rangoon. Several sources confirmed that there is no mobile phone network coverage for the building, which is close to a military camp. The journalists will have great trouble meeting the hundreds of delegates.The delegates risk jail sentences of five to 20 years if they “disseminate” a speech or statement not authorised by the convention’s working committee that is controlled by the authorities.A delegate for the National League for Democracy (NLD) was in 1996, sentenced to 20 years in prison for giving journalists a document that had not been passed by the committee.Moreover advance censorship is always applied to privately-owned publications in Rangoon, which are banned from freely reporting on preparations for the Convention and the position of the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still under house arrest.To ease international pressure, the military junta announced the opening of a National Convention on 17 May 2004 to write a new constitution. Neither the main democratic party, the NLD, nor the majority of ethnic minority parties have confirmed their participation. The government imposes the rules of the Convention, which was interrupted in 1996 after the withdrawal of the NLD. News News News May 26, 2021 Find out more to go further May 13, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Military junta shuts door on free coverage of National Convention Follow the news on Myanmar MyanmarAsia – Pacific center_img Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar Help by sharing this information RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum MyanmarAsia – Pacific Organisation RSF_en News Receive email alerts US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torturelast_img read more

NegOcc rejects return of 88 stranded OFWs

first_imgThe Western Visayas Regional TaskForce on COVID-19 recently drew up protocols on returning OFWs. * OFWs shall submit their COVID-19real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results from their country oforigin should it be available. BACOLOD City – Theprovincial government of Negros Occidental has refused to accept the return ofsome 88 Negrense seafarers stranded in Manila. * OFWs are required to undergo 14-dayquarantine and must be asymptomatic prior to departure from their immediatepoint of entry. In a letter dated April 25 addressedto Cabinet Secretary and IATF member Karlo Nograles, Leonardia said that he andNegros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson were caught by surprise that aboatload of OFWs will supposedly be arriving today. Their health status – whether positiveor not for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – is a big concern, according to Dr. Jonathan Lobaton, chief of theProvincial Incident Management Team (PIMT). He added that due to the limitedaccommodation of the provincial quarantine facility, the provincial governmentwould be prioritizing non-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 use thermal imaging cameras to detect travelers with signs of coronavirus. CNN PH In a letter dated April 26 addressedto Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council chief Jose RobertoNuñez, Lobaton signified the province’s refusal to accept the scheduledarrivals of the seafarers to the province this week. In Resolution No. 12, the task forcelisted the following conditions that returning OFWs must meet “to ensure thegeneral welfare of the repatriates and the safety of residents in Region 6”:center_img * OFWs shall undergo RT PCR test priorto departure from their immediate point of entry. Only those whose resultsare negative will be allowed to depart and accepted in Region 6. OnlyDepartment of Health-approved tests shall be accepted as valid results. “As much as we wanted our residentscome home, we also have to consider protecting the health and safety of ourpeople here,” he added. “For the time being, they may stay in quarantine untilwe can allocate and schedule their return after they were able to comply withrequirement.” “We thought the Overseas WorkersWelfare Administration wasthe proper agency to work with. Now, we do not know of the batch of BacolodOFWs that OWWA is ready to process is the same or differentfrom.those supposedly arriving on April 27 and thereafter,” the mayor said.  “We currently have 130 persons in ourquarantine facility area manned 24/7 by our personnel thus the arrival of 88seafarers will hamper our operation,” said Lobaton. According to Leonardia, they found outthat 44 of these OFWs were bound for different local government units in theprovince, and 58 for Bacolod City, as authorized by Secretary Carlito GalvezJr., chief implementer for COVID-19 national action plan. Leonardia said that this hasconsiderably messed up the city’s own coordination with the Overseas WorkersWelfare Administration on the scheduling of repatriation trips for BacolodOFWs. Meanwhile,Mayor Evelio Leonardia has written a letter to the Inter-AgencyTask Force (IATF) on the Emerging Infectious Diseases, requesting for closercoordination on the repatriation of the OFWs from various places in thePhilippines to the province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City. Leonardia said Gov. Jose EugenioLacson was supposed to co-sign the letter with him as a joint statement, butthe governor is in San Carlos City and has asked him instead to cite theexperience of the province on the OFW repatriation issue./PNlast_img read more