Lawsuits imperil new press freedom
YANGON | The media in Myanmar have gained new freedoms but also face a new threat in the form of lawsuits filed against them by the government.
The state-run Kyemon daily reported Wednesday that the Ministry of Mines plans legal action against a reporter and the publisher of the Voice, a private weekly, for a report alleging misappropriation of funds.
The Modern weekly journal already has been sued on defamation charges by an engineer from the Construction Ministry. He sued over a story alleging that truck drivers had bribed local engineers to allow them to use a bridge even though their vehicles exceeded its weight limit.
Journalists were jailed, beaten and blacklisted while Myanmar was under decades of army rule, and the new elected but military-backed government continues to censor reporting about politics and other subjects it deems sensitive.
But since last year, when the nation’s long-entrenched military junta