Signatures in support of the Media Bill drafted by media persons have been collected in Yangon and other towns on August 4, as a part of a campaign to put forward the bill to the Lower House.
The signatures are being collected by media persons. Thura Myo, a reporter who participated in signature collection said that they began the collection in Sule, Tarmway Market and other crowded places at about 11 a.m. on August 4.
Myint Thein, member of Myanmar Journalists Network, said that most of the people who signed in support of the Media Bill are students, businesspersons and politicians.
“When we made an excursion to the Parliament, Thura Shwe Mann the (Lower House) Speaker, told us that we could submit a report if we want to amend or re-draft the media law. After collecting signatures supporting the Media Bill, we will put it forward to the Parliament in order to get a media law that can secure freedom of the media,” he said.
Tin Tun, a businessman from Kamayut Township who signed the petition said, “After we have freedom of the media the Myanmar Press Council, media persons and otherrelevant news media will shoulder responsibilities for false news and take appropriate actions againts such news.”
The signatures were also collected in Taunggyi, Lashio, Magway and some other towns.
There are disagreements between the Myanmar Press Council and the Information Ministry on 17 points in the Media Bill drafted by media persons. On July 24, the Myanmar Press Council, the Information Ministry and the Lower House’s Sports, Culture and Public Relation Development Committee held a tripartite meeting to discuss the Media Bill in the Lower House building, Naypyitaw.
The Myanmar Press Council has already said that they would not give in to the Information Ministry's demand to amend some points in the bill.
There are also conflicts between the Media Bill drafted by media persons and the Printing and the Publishing Enterprise Bill drafted by the Information Ministry. The Minister for Information promised to put forward both bills to the Parliament simultaneously. However, the Lower House approved the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill drafted by the Information Ministry on July 4, without the amendments suggested by media persons.