Burma press in uproar over media bill
The Press Council of Burma has threatened to resign if the new Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill is enacted in its current form.
The bill gives broad powers to the government to control the licenses of publishing organisations and bans criticism of the 2008 Burmese constitution. The bill - which has yet to pass through the upper house in Parliament - is raising controversy only three months after Burma got its first private newspapers in fifty years. It is only a year ago that government officials ran a censorship system in which they could strike out articles or comments from the state-run newspapers.
The Press Council was formed in September with government backing. It includes journalists and legal experts. Some clauses have already been removed from the bill, including one which would have allowed journalists to be imprisoned if they breached the terms of the bill, according to The Irrawaddy Magazine.
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