Myanmar Govt sponsors three-day visit of journalists to northern Rakhine state

| Updated: Dec 22, 2016 00:46 IST

Naypyidaw [Myanmar], Dec. 21 (ANI): The Myanmar government has sponsored a three-day visit of 13 journalists to Maungdaw and Buthidaung areas, which have been under lockdown since October attacks on border guard posts. The journalists consisting of representatives from the Central News Burea, SkyNet, Mizzima, EPA, Kyodo New, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Myanmar, EPA, 7 Days, the state-owned News and Periodical Enterprise, and The Myanmar Times began their visit yesterday. The journalists will visit nine villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships during the three-day visit. Yesterday, they visited a hospital, school and market in Buthidaung. The media team was led by the general manager of News and Periodical Enterprise, U Ye Naing, to the site's yesterday. He said the concerned officials have been asked to let the press team meet with suspects, to attend court hearings and to speak with ministers during press briefings. "The authorities have not yet responded to our requests, but we may have a chance to meet with the chief minister [of Rakhine State], and the border affairs and social affairs ministers when we arrive back in Sittwe'' The Myanmar Times quoted Naing, as saying. Access has been severely restricted to the northern Rakhine State since Myanmar troops launched a crackdown in the region in response to attacks on three border posts on October 9 that killed nine police officers. Rohingyas Muslims have fled across the borders due to violence in the Rakhine state that has claimed lives of many people and displaced 30,000 others. A meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers was called by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon two days before the government-sponsored media trip to Maungdaw in which the state counsellor and foreign minister briefed them on the ground situation. According to a statement released by the government after the meeting, the state counsellor "reiterated the Government's serious commitment to the resolution of the complex issue and the need for time and space for the Government's efforts to bear fruit." (ANI)