The 5th Ethnic Media Conference ended with a decision to request an end to laws that are oppressing freedom of speech and the press.
The request appeared in a statement published on the last day of the three day conference held from June 26-28 in Loikaw city, Kayah State, Myanmar.
â€œWe heard the news that the military had arrested one journalist from Irrawaddy and two journalists from DVB Multimedia group who went to cover a drug-burning event organized by the Taâ€™ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on the first day of the conference.That is why all representatives from media groups requested the release of the detained journalists and termination of laws oppressing media freedom,â€ said Nai Kasuah Mon from Burma News International which led the conference.
During the conference, Ethnic media organizations came up with four statements and decided to hold the 6th Ethnic Media Conference in Kayin State.
They also decided to continue negotiating with the government, press council, and other respective organizations and discuss media laws, and weaknesses in ethnic media. The June 28 statement also said they would hold Awareness Dialogues with state legislature/government and society.
During the period of building a democratic federal union, they plan to make a policy to get media freedom and amend the role of ethnic media.
176 representatives from ethnic media organizations from 7 states, main media organizations based in Yangon and Mandalay, government, and international organization attended the 5th Ethnic Media Conference.