August 17, 2018
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Myanmar publishers hope new bill offers them protection

  • Category: Media
This picture taken on March 26, 2013 shows newspapers coming out of a printer at a printing house in Yangon.  Photo: AFP

An amended Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill was approved at Fridays’ session of the Lower House of Parliament, according to a report by state-owned newspaper The New Light of Myanmar.

Publishers and others in media say they hope the new bill will offer them a much higher degree of freedom and protection.

“As the fourth pillar, the media play a crucial role in the democratization process. It is necessary to protect the media and their freedoms with relevant laws,” said Thein Nyunt, MP for Thingyangyun Constituency.

“This bill was urgently needed,” said Khaing Maung Yi, the MP for Ahlone Township in western Yangon. “It is essential for the smooth functioning of publishing enterprises. The new law will benefit printers, publishers and the public.”

The Myanmar government began a policy of media reform in June 2011. In December 2012 the government declared that daily newspaper licenses would henceforth be issued, a proclamation that became reality on April 1 this year.

Naypyitaw has also dissolved its notorious censorship bureau, the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division.

Under its media reform policy, the government has of July 1 granted licenses to 31 private dailies, nine of which are now in circulation, including the Mizzima Daily.

The seventh session of the Lower House is underway in the capital, Naypyitaw.

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