Ir­rawaddy’s ed­i­tor spurns min­istry or­der to use ‘Aye­yarwady’

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS -

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]

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