Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SCC hospital, Hot News suit set to go to trial

Wednesday, 20 July 2011 20:03 Te Te

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The lawyer for SCC hospital in Rangoon said he has not received word to withdraw the suit against the Hot News journal and the case could go to trial on Friday.

Hot News weekly chief editor Hay Mar aka Ma Ma, right,
at a press conference. Photo: Mizzima
SCC lawyer Ye Myint said he has no instructions to settle out of court, in spite of a meeting between the two parties.

“I know about the meeting but I don’t know about the content of the meeting. I continue with all legal proceedings. We will consider withdrawing the case if they apologize to us,” Ye Myint said.

The court proceeding will start on Friday if the Bahan Township court receives the police report, he said.

An article in Hot News about the services provided by SCC hospital appeared in the first week of June. SCC placed ad notices in state-run daily papers and news journals saying the content of the article was in error and the journal must apologize to SCC.

SCC filed a suit for defamation and damages at Bahan court on June 6. The hospital claimed 20 billion kyat (US$ 2.5 million) in damages. Despite the Hot News journal article, the functions and business of SCC have not been affected, Ye Myint said.

The lawyer for Hot News, Thein Nyunt, who is also a member of Parliament, said, “I have not received a summons sent by the court.” He said that he would uphold the freedom of expression granted in the 2008 Constitution when he represents his client in court. Thein Nyunt said that the case between SSC and Hot News journal was about media freedom and business tycoons.

When Mizzima tried to contact the editor of Hot News, the journal replied that editor-in-chief Ma Ma was not in Rangoon. Ma Ma a.k.a. Hay Mar is the daughter of former Lieutenant General Khin Maung Than. She is also the chief editor of Pay Phu Hlwar magazine.

The Tourism Board also sent a notice to Hot News journal on June 14 and filed a suit. The journal replied to the board but has not yet received a response, said Thein Nyunt.

The article under the title of “For Development or For Profit?” was written by Maung Lin Thu (St. John) and was based on articles that appeared in Pyi Myanmar Journal and Seven Days journal, the journal said.

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