UK hails Myanmar move on press freedom

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 20:16

London: Britain has welcomed Myanmar`s move to remove the 48-year-old pre-publication censorship on the news media in the country, describing it as an important development as Yangon moves to the establishment of full democracy.

Reiterating Britain`s view that Myanmar should set up an independent investigation into the violence against Rohingiya Muslims in the Rakhine state, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt described this as an important time in the country`s transition towards full democracy.

Burt said: "Following the Foreign Secretary`s Statement of 13 August, the UK welcomes the government of Burma`s announcement that it will form an independent Investigation Commission to probe the recent inter-communal violence in Rakhine State. We also welcome the release of a number of UN and NGO workers who were detained following the recent outbreaks of violence in Rakhine State".

He added: "Furthermore, we also welcome the recent steps taken by the government to ease censorship on print media. We look forward to Burma taking the further steps necessary to complete this process and put an end to censorship".

Burt said the investigation into the Rakhine violence needed to be "genuinely independent of government, impartial, have fair procedures and involve a consultative process of all the affected communities concerned, including the Rohingya".

Burt added: "This is an important time in Burma`s transition and the UK as always remains committed to assisting the government of Burma as it continues to work towards the goal of a free and independent media and the establishment of full democracy under the rule of law."


First Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 20:16

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