Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 18:29
President Thein Sein has donated Ks 50 million to the interim Myanmar Press Council (MPC) as his government and the press council disagree over the media bill.
President Thein Sein earlier met with MPC’s chairperson Khin Maung Aye, vice-chairperson Mr Khin Maung Lay (Phoe Thauk Kyar) and secretary Kyaw Min Swe at his presidential resident on September 1. The President made a personal donation of Ks 50 million to the MPC on September 2.
“Ks 50 million is the donation to Press Council. It has been explained what the Press Council is doing in many previous press conferences. Members of the Press Council are doing these actives on their own expenses. Office rent is paid Ks 900,000 a month with the contributions of the council members. Furniture for the office has to be bought, too. There are also expenses to travel to Nay Pyi Taw,” said Kyaw Min Swe, Secretary of the Press Council.
“Press Council needs to spend on workshops and activities to bring about media development and the media law. We have clean conscience. We know ourselves what we are doing. It is clear to know what the Press Council is doing by looking at our previous activities. So, it is no problem for us,” he added.
However, questions are being raised as to the position of Myanmar Press Council, as it has accepted the donations personally rather than officially from the President while the disagreements over the media bill have not been resolved.
“Press Council has made great strides in their effort. [I] have to say their stance has been right and successful. By this time, it accepted the donation from the President. It seems awarding something like a prize anticipating something in return. I don’t like it. However, what and how did they say then? What is the requirement of that prize? Where do they need to use such kind of the prize? To understand the situation, it is required to consider how the Press Council will use the money. Whatever it is, the donation should not have been accepted. I mean it is not a good time to do so,” said a prominent journalist Hanthawady Win Tin.
“Whether [the money] is accepted from the President or whether it is said to be free from any strings, the press council should not have accepted such a large sum of money from the government especially when the issue involving the media bill has yet to be resolved. If [the press council] wants public trust, it is not just enough to have clear conscience. It is required to create an environment most people can trust in. If the press council stood by the government when conflicts arose between the government and journalists, the dignity and morality of the council would become questionable. How can we accept that? Now, the act of the press council has attracted public criticism,” said Dr Than Htut Aung, CEO of Eleven Media Group.
Business Latest News
- Myanmar to legislate on computer software
- Muse bus station complex to open next year
- Thai event business helps Myanmar kick off SEA Games
- Unilever receives licence to open Myanmar branch
- Construction permits available online by 2014
- Joint venture to invest Ks 32 billion in stock exchange
- Yangon Stock Exchange to open in two years - Deputy Minister
- Chinese companies to invest in various industrial projects
- Myanmar calls to end illegal timber trade with China
- Myanmar urges China to invest in Kyauk Phyu SEZ