Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Censorship Board bans Phoenix

by Phanida & Nem Davies
Monday, 24 August 2009 16:54

Chiang Mai & New Delhi (Mizzima) - Burma’s Censorship Board banned the Rangoon-based Weekly Journal, Phoenix on August 21, citing violation of censorship rules and regulations.

The Censorship Board, under the Burmese Ministry of Information, said that the weekly journal, published every Thursday, has been banned as the publication was found to have violated the rules set by the board.

“Yes, it has been put up on the notice board that the weekly has been banned from publishing,” said an official at the Board, but declined to provide details of the violation of the rules.

However, an official at the Phoenix Journal said, “Our officials are still trying to negotiate to get back the license for publication. But, there are only about 30 per cent chances that we will be allowed to publish.”

Phoenix, which has been into publication only for about seven months, was also banned earlier from publishing one of its issues, which carried news and articles sensitive to censorship.

The notice, which was undersigned by the Director of the Censorship Board, Maj Tint Swe, states that the weekly was banned for violating the rules and regulations of censorship time and again. The notice was circulated on August 20, and on August 21 and was put up on the notice board.

The publisher of the Weekly Phoenix Journal is a former Air force officer. It is published by Maj Mar-J, who is also popularly known as writer Mar-J. He was removed from his official post after writing satires on the Burmese junta’s shifting of the capital to Naypyitaw. Besides, his writings were also banned from being published in any other journals or publications.

“It is like he [Mar-J] had been marked. And when the journal violated the rules, it gave the authorities an opportunity to get even with him. If we had worked within the framework of the rules, I do not think there would be any problems,” an editor with another local weekly journal in Rangoon told Mizzima.

Sources close to the Phoenix Journal said as the publication was banned, nearly 20 employees of the journal are in a crisis, as they are no longer employed.

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