Jour­nal­ists ap­ply for bail

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News -

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.

Sanc­tions likely

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.

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