Listen to Myanmar voices

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Global Times has urged the international community to listen to Myanmar voices right after the western media launched a collective attack on the government for sentencing two Reuters reporters seven years in jail.
The editorial written by Ai Jun of the Global Times criticized the Western media for launching a collective attack on the Myanmar government following the Yangon Northern District Court sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for illegal possession of documents covered by the Official Secrets Act.
A few mainstream Western media asserted this was a blow to press freedom, judicial independence and democracy. Some even claimed the sentence had sparked a backlash in the international community.
Before the judgement, the Myanmar media reported that “the court’s decision will be based on the rule of law.” Other nations should respect the country’s situation and its rule of law.
Everyone who has been following the court proceedings witnessed that the two men have had free access to their lawyers and to the court proceedings.
The country follows due process and everyone is free to follow the court proceedings to find out whether or not they are fair, and whether or not they are in accordance with the rule of law.
But, the western media has found fault with Myanmar’s internal issue by one-sidedly alleging that the two journalists were arrested for investigating a massacre of villagers, skirting around or questions the court’s reason: Both violated a state secrets act.
The court’s information officer in responding to questions posed by said that the two journalists were found guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act when they collected and obtained confidential documents. The time the two reporters had already served would be taken into account and the defence could appeal the decision to a regional court and even to the Supreme Court in accordance with the law.
In a democracy, no one has the right to interfere in the judicial sector. At the same time, we must respect the full rights of the accused, and those of the judiciary as well.
A few western countries in the name of “the international community” have been exerting increasing pressure on the Union Government over the Rakhine issue. On August 27, the UN Human Rights Council issued a report on the Rakhine issue. But the Myanmar government rejected the findings in the report, noting it undermines the Myanmar government’s efforts to bring peace, national reconciliation and development in the country.
The Union Government told the international community earlier that it has “zero tolerance to any human rights violation” and it had set up an Independent Commission of Enquiry to respond to allegations made by the UN and the international community. The Union Government’s spokesman said “If there is any case against human rights, just give us strong evidence, record and date so that we can take legal action.”. But the Western media has so far not yet provided acceptable evidence, record and date.
The west should listen to Myanmar voices instead of intimidating it in the name of the “international community”.

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