Media persons criticize attacks on journalists

By Ni Moe

( Yangon, 4 July 2013):  Myanmar Journalist Networks had organized a press conference Wednesday in Yangon, the former capital of Burma to narrate the story of assaults on some photo journalists by the security forces engaged in the historic Shwe Dagon pagoda.

The photo was taken by a photo journalist during confrontation between photo journalists and security forces

The photo was taken by a photo journalist during confrontation between photo journalists and security forces

Ko Lin Bo Bo, a photo journalist from European Press Photo Agency with some other journalists attended the press conference, held at Kyauk Tan Htar township of  Yangon on July 3 evening, where he described about the incident of physical assault.

The journalist team was there on July 2 knowing that the Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn would pay a visit to the gigantic pagoda in Yangon. Photo journalist Bo Bo  was waiting for two to three hours there to get an opportunity to take photographs of the visiting Thai Princess.

Accordingly Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn arrived at the splendid pagoda in the evening and Bo Bo with some other photo journalists rushed to the spot. Suddenly there emerged a security person who pushed Bo Bo from his back to the ground. Bo Bo had to swing for few feet behind and his valuable 70-200mm F4 L IS USM Lens of Canon 1D Mark III was also broken.

Two young photo journalists, who were observing the incident, quickly came to the spot and questioned about it to the security person. But more security personnel gathered on the spot and engaged in hot debates with the journalists.

Finding the incident unpleasant, many photo journalists left the place, but Bo Bo with two young photo journalists stayed there. They were again targeted by the security personnel on duty.

In another incident, Ko Aung Naing Soe from popular news organization too tried to snap some photographs, when the security personnel took away his camera and even threaten to smash the instrument.

Ko Aung Naing Soe, while addressing the press conference, argued that the freedom of press in Burma is yet to be established as the authority continues oppressing the working journalists.

Speaking to Narinjara through the phone, Ko Lin Bo Bo informed that he had already complained to Myanmar Press Council. He expects that even if the security personnel do not apologize publicly, but they should confess in front of media persons that they had done a mistake with attacks on journalists.