The Ministry of Information hosted a workshop of representatives from the four pillars of democracy — the legislative, the administrative, the judiciary, and the media — yesterday morning — to discuss ways to promote balanced cooperation between the media and the three other pillars to provide reliable information to the people of Myanmar. The fourth workshop of the four pillars was attended by Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint, Deputy Minister U Aung Hla Tun, Pyithu Hluttaw Health and Sports Development Committee Chairperson Dr San Shwe Win, MPs, and Permanent Secretary U Myo Myint Maung, officials from the three other pillars, Myanmar Press Council Chairperson Hantharwady U Ohn Kyaing, Vice-Chairperson Dr Myo Thant Tin and the council members, representatives from Myanmar Journalists Association, Myanmar Journalist Union, Myanmar Journalist Network, BNI Multimedia Group, and Myanmar Women Journalists Society.
In the workshop, Union Minister Dr Pe Myint said that the fourth workshop of the four pillars was held to fulfill the right to information, to make discussions among the four pillars in order to find a solution to safeguard rights and freedom of media, to mutually recognize the nature and the roles of each other among the pillars and to collaborate with each other in trying to achieve good governance, and to review the results of the third workshop of the pillars. The Union Minister highlighted the importance of the role of media in a democratic country.
He said that implementation of the decisions made in the preliminary meetings, the six points from a previous meeting with three pillars, the eight points from a previous meeting with media, and the 13 points from the third workshop of the four pillars would be discussed in thet fourth workshop. Myanmar Press Council Chairperson Hantharwady U Ohn Kyaing said that workshops of the four pillars are the features of a democratic country.
He pointed out that the citizens assume sovereignty according to the Constitution, and the Constitution gives the mechanism for check and balance among the pillars. He said that media have gained an important role since the era of King Mindon, and journalists are working hard in these days to provide accurate news to the public. Deputy Minister U Aung Hla Tun emphasized the importance of the freedom of expression for all people including journalists. The Deputy Minister pointed out that some civil wars in some nations were sparked by false news published by media. He also warned the participants that dishonest people in foreign countries can disturb elections by using online media.
Speaking about the best way to resolve the problems, the Deputy Minister said that reliable and accountable news sources need to provide correct and accurate information in real-time. To successfully perform the duty, it is very important to have mutual understanding and collaboration among the four pillars, said the Deputy Minister. Pyithu Hluttaw Health and Sports Development Committee Chairperson Dr San Shwe Win said that some of the six topics of the previous workshop — matters related to recognizing journalists; accountability of departments and organizations; capacity building and development; ethics; attitudes; and the need to be free from media bias — would be discussed again in the fourth workshop.
Office of the Union Supreme Court Deputy Director-General U Nyo Tun said that information officials from judiciary sector met with media for 210 times in 2019, and 173 times from January to August 2020. He continued that the Union Supreme Court published four booklets on crimes, civil cases, writs, and courts, and distributed the booklets to the public to educate people about the judiciary system. In collaboration with My Justice, three out of the four booklets were translated into Kachin, Kayah, Poe Kayin, Sakaw Kayin, Mon, Shan and Pa-O languages, and the translated books were distributed to the relevant areas via courts, according to the Director-General. Tatmadaw True News Information Team Secretary Brigadier-General Ye Yint Aung said that the team daily answers the questions asked by local and foreign media via phone. The team also holds a press conference every month.
Officials from the three pillars — legislative, administrative, judiciary — the Union Supreme Court and the Myanmar Press Council discussed matters related to covering news regarding the three pillars and safety of journalists. Then, officials from the three other pillars replied to the questions raised by representatives from Myanmar Journalists Association, Myanmar Journalist Union, Myanmar Journalist Network, BNI Multimedia Group, and Myanmar Women Journalists Society. After the attendees officially approved the results of the fourth workshop, Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint delivered a concluding speech. The fourth workshop approved ten points which include matters related to media ethics and mutual respect, decision to hold further meetings, and implementation of resolutions gained from the workshops of the four pillars. The first workshop was held on 30 December 2016, the second on 21 February 2018, and the third on 30 April 2019.—MNA (Translated by Maung Maung Swe)