Irrawaddy’s editor spurns ministry order to use ‘Ayeyarwady’
The editor-in-chief of the Irrawaddy Publishing Group says he will defy an instruction from the Information Ministry to use government-approved “Ayeyarwady” in the titles of its two publications, the Associated Press reported on December 16.
U Aung Zaw was referring to a notice published by the ministry in state-controlled newspapers instructing the group to change the names of its English-language monthly magazine, The Irrawaddy, and its Myanmar-language Irrawaddy Weekly Journal.
The instruction to replace “Irrawaddy” with “Ayeyarwady” in the titles of the two publications was an attempt to “stifle independent media”, said U Aung Zaw, a co-founder of the group and a recent recipient of an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The ministry's instruction amounted to unacceptable and blatant interference in the group's operations and it would continue to use “Irawaddy”, U Aung Zaw told AP.
The group, which has been based for more than 20 years in Chiang Mai, where The Irrawaddy is produced, opened an office in Yangon in October 2012 and began publishing the Irrawad- dy Weekly Journal last year.
The group claims to faced harassment since opening its Yangon office and some of its expatriate staff experienced visa problems earlier this year. [Mizzima]