Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekly Eleven lambasts RFA and Mizzima

by Ko Wild

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) -- A weekly Journal in Rangoon has lambasted the Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Mizzima News over the report of a journalist who tried to photograph an A/H1N1 patient in the military ruled Southeast Asian country.

Weekly Eleven on its website ( criticized the two media outfits saying it was an “act of violating the journalistic code”, for allegedly using a second source based story related to its reporter Win Myint Kyaw, saying neither sought confirmation from the journal.

The reporter, on June 28, sneaked into the room, where the A/H1N1 virus infected school girl had been confined, in Rangoon General Hospital in a bid to collect information and to take her picture.

The authorities arrested Win Myint Kyaw and took him to ‘Waibarge’ Epidemic Hospital in Rangoon.

Regarding the incident, Washington based RFA’s Burmese programme on Wednesday quoted a reporter in Burma, who said that authorities detained Win Myint Kyaw when he was trying to take a picture of the patient in the hospital.

However, Weekly Eleven in its website said that the reporter was not arrested but on the request of the authorities, was taken to hospital in Rangoon for tests to find out whether he was also infected by A/H1N1.

Similarly, Mizzima News report on June 29, which quoted one of the medical specialists in Rangoon General Hospital, said the authorities detained a reporter (without mentioning the journal’s name), who secretly entered the quarantine room and tried to take photographs after bribing the duty guard. The reporter was taken in so as to be quarantined as he was not well protected with preventive equipment.

Though, Weekly Eleven contended that Win Myint Kyaw used a surgical mask when he went in for collecting information, the journal failed to mention the suspension of the hospital guard which Mizzima News mentioned.

Moreover, RFA also reported that the authorities will take action against Weekly Eleven’s reporter who entered into a quarantined area of the hospital without permission.

However, Weekly Eleven said there is no A/H1N1 virus found in Win Myint. He will be released after 10 days of being kept under surveillance.

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