Guwahati: Amidst the military crackdowns over the peaceful demonstrators of Myanmar (earlier known as Burma) for a comprehensive multi-party democracy in the southeast Asian nation, a senior journalist asserted that military personnel must go back to their barracks. The founder and chief editor of Mizzima Media, Soe Myint termed the civil disobedience movement as people’s voices against the military junta.
Called by the jailed National League for Democracy (NLD) chief Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to oppose the armed forces (Tatmadow), which overthrew a democratically elected government in NayPieTaw on 1 February 2021 alleging voting frauds, the movement is now spread across the country. The Mizzima editor, while participating virtually in a recent session of Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) on Myanmar crisis, asserted that it is now a frontal war between the Tatmadow and common Burmese (and not military verses NLD/ Suu Kyi).
International media outlets pour news about the massive protests by the people against the army personnel which has taken lethal attacks on them resulting in the killings of over 150 people and injuring many others in various parts of Myanmar since the first week of February.
Thousands of protesters including over 30 journalists have been detained or arrested by the military regime led by Reporters, photo journalists, camera persons etc are being targeted by the military and their associated for covering the protest demonstrations. Additionally, the frequent shut down of internet services have hindered their professional activities. More precisely, the media houses are facing the shrinkage of revenues (including advertisements) that compelled the journalists to work with little or no financial supports under the dangerous situation.
“We apprehended this kind of adverse situation (read military coup) and were ready to face the consequences. However it is always our duty to report about our country and citizens irrespective of any circumstance or its aftermath,” said Soe Myint adding that he may be arrested tomorrow by the military or even get killed by their thugs, but he can not surrender to the junta.
The soft-spoken gentleman also informed that he is neither working from the Yangon office of Mizzima nor his residence to avoid the military atrocities. Like many other Myanmar based journalists he is working from hideouts, stated Soe Myint, who edits Mizzima newspaper, Mizzima TV and their website, adding that many social media savvy Burmese youths are also lodging their angered protests against the military rulers from undisclosed locations inside or outside Myanmar.
The session that comprises other assigned speakers including Sonny Swe (co-founder and publisher of Frontier Myanmar), Thiha Saw (veteran journalist and former editor Myanmar Times), Cape Diamond (freelancer), Poppy McPherson (Reuters Myanmar bureau-chief), Jonathan Head (BBC southeast Asia correspondent) etc and moderated by Gwen Robinson (FCCT president and editor-at-large of Nikkei Asia), also witnessed Soe Myint admitting that he may go for exile once again in the neighbouring countries if the situation demands.
It may be mentioned that the Burmese media person, lived an exile’s life for over two decades in New Delhi prior to his return to Myanmar in 2012. He launched the Mizzima group here and shifted to his country and today the newspaper enjoys a sizable circulation both in English and Burmese language. The group has also a weekly business magazine, digital media outlet, radio and free to air television channels.