Myanmar Journalists Association to stand as independent organisation

Kyi Naing

Myanmar Journalists Association (MJA) issued a statement on September 10 announcing that it would stand as an independent organisation by distancing itself from the state’s Myanmar Press Council (MPC).

The statement said as an independent organisation, MJA would try to protect the rights and interests of journalists.

"We will stand as an independent organisation. This is the decision of the executive committee's meeting. Details are as stated in the statement," said Thein Aye, MJA executive committee member and information in charge.

The statement also said in the election of a new executive committee for MPC, MJA submitted lists of representatives and lists of changes in representatives' names and filing some complaints. However, MPC didn't act in line with the procedures.

Therefore, MJA's executive committee held a meeting on September 9 deciding that the association will no longer be involved with the press council and that representatives from MJA would not compete in the election of press council members.

The MPC became independent from the Ministry of Information in 2013 to support more effectively for press freedom and resolve disputes involving journalists. However, it has faced criticism for doing little in the interests of journalists.

MPC elected veteran journalist Ohn Kyaing as new chair earlier this month.