Media Allowed In Karenni State Hluttaw

The press has the freedom to be present in Karenni State Hluttaw (state-level parliament) to report on political proceedings. Media restrictions that were imposed during the first five-terms were lifted yesterday.

U Kyaw Htin Aung from the Union of Karenni State Youth (UKSY) said it’s important to allow journalists to attend parliamentary meetings so media groups can keep the public informed.

“Unlike the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (union Parliament), there is no Hluttaw (TV) Channel.” The public needs to stay informed of their “efforts” to give support “in enacting suitable laws”.

Only two from each media group will be allowed inside at one time, said U Hla Htwe, a Karenni State Hluttaw speaker. To gain access the name of the reporters and their biographies must first be submitted for review.

U Aung Naing Oo, an MP from the Mon State’s Chaungzon Township Constituency 1, said press freedom in parliament is crucial. When he brought up land issues in parliament the media played a beneficial role by getting the story out to the public.

In Mon State and the Kachin State press restrictions in parliament have also being lifted.

 “We can enter (the parliament) after registering in our state. We can take photos and videos, everything is okay,” said Ma Elizabeth, a journalist for Myitkyina Journal in Kachin State.

U Myint Kyaw, a member of the Myanmar Press Council member, said media access should be harmonized during parliamentary proceedings across the nation. Yet, in some areas journalists face restrictions enacted by higher authorities. Parliament is responsible for answering to the media, he said.

Before the new government, only state-owned television networks MRTV and SkyNet TV could cover the news in the Karenni State Hluttaw.