Burma News

Indian Vice President to visit Burma to strengthen bilateral relations

India's Vice President Hamid Ansari is set to visit neighbouring military-ruled Burma, in a bid to further strengthen bilateral cooperation between both countries, according to reports.

Freezing Temperatures Hit Remote Areas of Burma

Unusually low temperatures are making life harder for people in mountainous parts of Burma and adding to the suffering of political prisoners in the country’s gulag.

Singapore Non-oil Exports Plunge 21 Percent

Singapore's non-oil exports, which account for two-third of the city-state's gross domestic product, dropped by the most in almost seven years in December.

Poor Economy Crimps Migrants’ Home Visits

The number of Burmese migrants returning home for their annual visit has dropped sharply as a result of the weakening job market in Thailand.

Bush Slaps Sanctions on More Junta Cronies

In the closing days of the Bush administration, the US has imposed new sanctions on cronies of Burma’s ruling junta.

Through the Director’s Lens

The Irrawaddy recently interviewed Kyi Soe Tun, former the chairman of the Myanmar Film Association. He said Burmese films are still impossible to reach an international audience.

Weekly Business Roundup (January 16, 2009)

A London-based insurance firm has been fined for “suspicious payments” to procure business in Burma and other Asian countries.

Rangoon DPA reporter admits incorrect reporting of U Win Tin's talk

Min Naing Thu(Khitpyaing)/January 14, 2009

NLD Central Executive Committee member U Win Tin complained to the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) of Burma that a DPA report about an alleged interview with him was incorrect. The FCC investigated the case by questioning the DPA's Rangoon reporter on January 8, resulting in reporter Ko Ko (RIT)'s admission of wrong reportage.

The FCC informed U Win Tin about the investigation, saying that the Club could carry out the probe only to this extent since it has to abide by its Constitution. It added that if U Win Tin is not satisfied with this outcome, he could take action on DPA's news reportage by any means.

The investigations were conducted by Club's President U Hla Htwe who informed U Win Tin in writing that Ko Ko (RIT) has admitted to his writing the news report by himself after his assistant Daw Sint Sint Aung conducted an interview with U Win Tin on phone.

When Ko Ko admitted as such, FCC then questioned Daw Sint Sint Aung whether U Win Tin did say that there are some members of NLD wanting to contest and some not wanting to contest in the coming elections, and asked her to produce clear evidence.

Daw Sint Sint Aung answered that she has interviewed U Win Tin on phone but not recorded the sounds nor could she present any evidence. She only remembered U Win Tin's talk about some people in the NLD having a hard-line approach and some having a soft approach. She said she was unsure whether U Win Tin has said that some NLD members wish to run for elections and some do not.

U Ko Ko then took the stand, testifying that when he heard Daw Sint Sint Aung's report about the two approaches inside the NLD toward the coming elections, he 'naively' thought that it was an implication of existence of two sides—those who wanted to contest and those who did not want to contest—and so he wrote the said news report.

After their testimonies, the President told them to conduct important interviews not on phone but face-to-face and to record the sounds. He concluded the investigation by lecturing them on journalist ethics, quoting books on international journalism.

When asked by Khitpyaing about the proceedings, U Win Tin said, "It's quite hard to believe this as a sincere mistake. As I am a politician who came from journalism sector, I don't want to argue with the media. Also as a responsible official of a political organization, I don't want to quarrel with the media too. I made this complaint because it was too bad, too wrong. What I have said by citing two statements was that the NLD has approached the new constitution in both hard-line and soft approaches. However, they [DPA people] replaced constitution with elections. Moreover, another mistake was made by implying that there are two sides in the NLD, which are those who want to contest in the elections and those who don't. Thereby it seems that the party is ridden with divisions which are going to split the League. That's why I have to complain so. Of course, only the culprits would know whether it is a sincere mistake. As for me, I'm content with their admission of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, on the political aspect, if exiled democratic forces deem it to be a deliberate character assassination or an intentional misinformation and continue to take action as necessary, I would agree to their act. I would also like to thank them for working on behalf of me. I have difficulty to communicate with elements abroad."

The case came up when U Win Tin sent a letter of complaint to Foreign Correspondents' Club of Burma on December 18 after German-based DPA news agency printed news on November 30, 2008, incorrectly reporting U Win Tin's talk.

In the said news report, it was written as if there are divisions and splits inside the party, thus annoying exiled democratic forces. Dissidents complained to the DPA Head Office in Berlin, Germany, resulting in Editor-in-Chief Eva Maria McCormick's reply to Burmese dissidents pledging undertaking of investigations and effective action on culprits if found guilty of falsified reporting.

As the investigations that have been conducted now were made by the FCC in Rangoon, it is not known clearly how Rangoon reporter Ko Ko (RIT) would be penalized after DPA's internal investigations.

Translated from news posted on Khitpyaing online website

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