Saturday, July 28, 2012

BURMA TRAGEDY - Bias reporting of foreign media on Rakhine-Rohingyas issue disgraces Myanmar images

Bias reporting of foreign media on Rakhine-Rohingyas issue disgraces Myanmar images
Reported by EMG   
People in Yangon object on 11 June reports of foreign media on Rakhine unrest

Foreign media are now presenting bias reports on the clashes between Rakhine people and Bengali Rohingyas to destroy the image of Myanmar and its people.

For example, the reporting of the BBC news agency mentioned on 8 June that police forces are firing on at the rioters in Maungdaw Township, quoting the so-called witnesses. The report of this news agency was based on religion.

Moreover, the AFP news agency also stated on 7 June that police forces are shooting the mobs. Their news mentioned the conflict between Muslims and Rakhine people. The truth is that no police fired on the rioters. Only Rohingyas killed Rakhine people and burned down their houses.

The Nation Media of Thailand stated the news “Call for UN to intervene in Rohingya ‘genocide’.  They first mentioned the news with the photo of Eleven Media Group without caption. In fact, the photo is the burning Rakhine houses ignited by Rohingyas.  As the news was stated with no captioned photo, international readers misunderstood the country and the people.

However, the Nation changed the photo without hesitation at the request of the Eleven Media Group.

As some foreign media biased the reports on Rakhine unrest, Myanmar citizens protested against them in Yangon on 11 June.

People in Yangon also took to street in front of Yangon City Hall to object the reports of some foreign media by holding placards written ‘We oppose to BBC, VOA, RFA and DVB’ and ‘We oppose to unfair local and foreign media’.

They also raised the placards such as ‘Rohigya are Terrorist. Get out of our country’ and ‘We have our own swords, but we observe the law. We are Myanmar nationalities’, ‘Protect our country, our culture and our brethrens’ and ‘We Love Peace’.

Chairman and CEO Dr. Than Htut Aung of the Eleven Media Group said, “The Nation website posted that ‘some 800-1,000 people - including women, children and elderly people - have disappeared recently’. The sources of these words are Rohingya organizations and some Thai NGOs. The news also stated ‘Paramilitary and "racist" Rakhine are burning houses and shooting people, with some being burned alive.’ These facts are totally wrong. There is no paramilitary in Rakhine.How could 20,000 Rakhine people in Maungdaw Township kill the 400,000 Rohingyas(20 times more than Rakhine people)?  The Eleven Media Group only uploaded  the news and photos which show the blazing Rakhine wards burnt by Rohingyas.  Moreover, the groups also asked for immediate action to stop this serious genocide and ethnic cleansing by sending a UN peace keeping force to Arakan to protect innocent people.”

Dr. Than Htut Aung continued, “To erase such propagandas of some foreign media, local journalist are reporting news from the scene without considering about their lives. However, foreign media are exploiting the efforts of local media. The government should hold a press conference by inviting foreign missions and correspondents. This is the right time for the world figures to unveil the truth. The Eleven Media Group has sent our reliable and energetic four reporters to Rakhine State. They are now taking news photos to clear accuses of foreign media without convincing evidences that our country and Rakhine people are the killers and the terrorists.  They have to take risk in conflict areas where there is no rule of law, but jut swords and weapons. Everybody can imagine their awkward situation. Therefore, we expressed our objection to the Nation Media Group regarding with the aforementioned photo on their website. While the EMG is safeguarding our country, we want the people to cooperate with us. We will also present the accurate news without bias. People should also participate in our efforts sensibly.”

With regard to bias report of foreign media on Rakhine unrest, editor in charge Aung Paw Tun of the Messenger News Journal said, “The reports of some foreign media four to five days ago are not fair. Their presentations are deviating from the actual events. It is not a good intention. The Reuters news agency said Rakhine people came back after setting fire, and Rohingyas were burned alive and they were extinguishing fire. These news are destroying the image of Rakhine people.”

“Based on the bad images of previous military government, Rohingyas are conducting propaganda campaign through foreign media. They see the military government oppressed them. By taking advantage on little good image of the previous government, international media also view the government is oppressing the minorities. As the new government cannot avoid the shadow of previous government, some foreign groups are conducting such campaigns from the side of Rohingyas. The existing issue is not a religious conflict. But such incident usually occurs in the countries where migrant people are residing. As their own land experienced population boom and the cultivated lands become insufficient, these effects spread to the neighboring countries. The root cause of this problem is due to the weakness in policies and law of our country. Negligence and corruption of immigration department for 20 years caused the infiltration of Bengalis. Our media must reveal the actual situation patriotically and professionally,” said chief editor  Ko Kyaw Min Swe of the Voice News Journal.

Chief reporter Ma May Nge of Pyi Myanmar Journal said “ It is necessary to release the right information from media. Some foreign media released the news every second of the 2007 incident.  For the incident in Rakhine state, no foreign media is releasing any actual news. I have read a news on BBC website. They wrongly posted that Presidential officer said Rakhine people were shooting Rohingya. This news was very terrible and totally wrong. It is horrifying to accuse a staff from president office. The wording can get people confused. There is no bias in media. It should be in the middle. The incident is concerning with the whole country. So we must stand on the right position. The problem is not between the Islamists and the Buddhists. Foreign media should not intend to destroy the unity of our country. This is not a religious riot. This is a plot to invade our land, and a blow to nationality. We never accept the attacks through religion.”

U Zaw Thet Htwe, who is trying to emerge Myanmar Journalists Union, said, “Foreign media do not understand very well about Myanmar history. Such reporting will destroy the image of our country and people. Myanmar journalists in foreign based news agencies should respect their professional and love their own land. Without emphasizing only on human rights and human value, they should also consider about national interest of the country.”

The following is the report on the Nation media website.
Call for UN to intervene in Rohingya 'genocide'

Half a dozen organisations concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Arakan State in Burma issued an open letter to Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, yesterday urging the UN to "intervene and protect a million Rohingya people of Arakan from a planned genocide".

The letter, signed by Maung Kyaw Nu, president of the Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) said some 800-1,000 people - including women, children and elderly people - have disappeared recently while the death tolls are still being calculated. Rohingya organisations and Thai NGOs, such as the People's Empowerment Foundation, claim that paramilitary and "racist" Rakhine are burning houses and shooting people, with some being burned alive.

"Rohingya youth are running to hide in the forest. Some are crossing to Bangladesh. All dead and wounded bodies are taken away by the government forces," the letter said. It added that the Burmese regime plans to "kill and clear all Muslims from Arakan State."

"We urge immediate action to stop this serious genocide and ethnic cleansing by sending a UN peace keeping force to Arakan to protect innocent people. We urge the UN to send a mission to control the serious situation in Arakan State and save the remaining Rohingyas as quickly as possible," said the groups. They added that international and Asean intervention to save people's lives was urgently needed and urged the international media to monitor closely the serious situation in Arakan.

International humanitarian groups, the statement said, should step up their presence in Arakan State to support humanitarian work while the Burmese regime should explain what is going on.

"We also demand the UN constitutes an independent and impartial inquiry commission to investigate these crimes against humanity and bring the culprits to justice," it concluded.

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