Journalists apply for bail
THIS week, the chief editor of Eleven Media Group, Ko Kyaw Zaw Lin, editor Ko Nay Min and chief reporter Ko Phyo Wai Win appeared in Tarmwe township court to face charges filed against them by Yangon Region.
The defendants, who were arrested on October 10 after publishing a story alleging fund mismanagement by Yangon regional government officials, applied for bail and submitted evidence and documents during their appearance, according to their lawyer U Kyi Myint.
U Aung Kyaw Khaing, a director of the government, had alleged in his complaint that the journalists violated a law that forbids publication of incorrect information that could cause public unrest. Punishment under the law can include two years in prison, a fine, or both.
The trio was charged under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code. Their next court appearance is scheduled for October 26.
Two fighter jets crash
On Wednesday, two Myanmar military F-7 fighter jets crashed in separate incidents during training flights in Magwe Region, killing three people, the office of the Commander-in-chief for Defence Services said in a statement.
The victims included the two pilots of the Chinese-made aircraft and a 10-year-old girl who was hit by debris as she studied at home. A 10-year-old boy identified as Maung Hein Htet Aung was also slightly injured by the debris.
One of the jets crashed in Minbu town and another crashed in a paddy field near Thanatpin village in Minbu township.
Although the US and European Union (EU) are unlikely to impose sweeping sanctions on Myanmar as a result of the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine, international pressure is mounting in the West to force the country to improve its human rights record. In that light, Myanmar could face more trade sanctions in the coming months, according to a Fitch Solutions report released on Wednesday.
As a result, the research firm has downgraded its GDP growth forecast for Myanmar to 6.6 percent in 2018-19 and 6.8pc in 2019-20, from 6.8pc and 7pc, respectively.
Fitch Solutions said it could further downgrade its real GDP forecasts if Myanmar loses all or a significant part of its preferential trade access to the EU and/or the US in the coming months.
“Although we continue to believe that the imposition of sweeping sanctions against Myanmar by western economies remains a measure of last resort, risks of such economically damaging actions have risen considerably, and we expect limited trade sanctions to be imposed,” the report said.