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(Mar 07, 2013)
The 1962 Act had been widely criticized as restricting freedom of the press by banning any printing of material that could be seen as dissenting from the government. Among other provisions, it establishes a registration system for all printing and publishing enterprises (Law No. 1, 1962, Part 4, arts. 6-10) and states that no business can be registered to publish if they have a plan to "harm the ideology and views" of the government. (
Criticism of the Draft Publishing Law
The draft replacement legislation has been criticized for continuing a form of registration of publications; failure to register would be punishable with a sentence of six months in jail and a fine equivalent to about US$11,600. The proposed law also would prohibit publication of "material that could 'disturb the rule of law,' 'incite unrest,' or [that] 'violates the constitution and other existing laws'." (
Criticism of the Consultation Process
In addition, there was criticism over the process by which the bill was sent to the legislature, as media groups had expected to be consulted but were not. Kyi Myint, an opposition Member of the Lower House of Parliament, noted that the bill will be reviewed in detail in committee. "We know that all the members of the media do not agree with this bill and object to it," he stated, and "[t]his will be included in the considerations of the respective [parliamentary] committees." (
Expectations of media consultation on the proposed law had been raised in September 2012. In August of that year, a joint government/media Myanmar Press Council was formed, and the 30-member group had begun drafting a media law of its own. (
Government Response to Criticisms
In response to the objections to the bill, Ye Tint, the Director General of Information and Public Relations for
|Author:||Constance Johnson More by this author|
|Topic:||Freedom of the press More on this topic|
|Jurisdiction:||Burma More about this jurisdiction|
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Last updated: 03/07/2013