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September 17, 2019

Credibility is lost when media is unprofessional

The credibility of the media is lost when they fail to seek the truth and ensure accuracy in their reporting. Journalism is the only brand of information designed to help citizens in a democracy. However, the world has been pointing fingers at Myanmar following inaccurate reports in the Associated Press (AP) about mass graves in Rakhine State on 1 February.
Journalist Hannah Beech also wrote an article about untrue stories that appeared about the displaced people of Myanmar from the border areas of Bangladesh.
Hannah Beech said she had seen the displaced people quoted in foreign news media telling stories that she knew were not true.
“To compete for relief supplies distributed by aid groups, refugees learn to deploy women with infants in their arms. Crying babies get pushed to the front of the line. Such strategies are a natural survival tactic. Who wouldn’t do the same to feed a family?” she asked in her article.
AP reported that at least five previously unreported mass graves were uncovered in Myanmar, with body parts burnt with acid, making them unrecognisable.
A day after the AP report on mass graves in Rakhine State, authorities and representatives of the local people investigated the area and interrogated residents on 2 February.
Following the inspection, the team comprising authorities, police, doctors and local villagers, refuted the AP report, and the villagers also said they had not heard of such massacres near their village.
What really happened in the area was that security forces were attacked by a combined group of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) terrorists and some 500 villagers on 28 August, 2017, following attacks by the ARSA terrorists on police outposts.
The terrorists and villagers used machetes and homemade arms in the attack, and the security forces had acted in self-defence until the attackers fled.
A security personnel got injured and 19 bodies of terrorists were found, along with eight machetes and homemade arms, including spears, as well as 12 bullet shells.
According to the inspection team, the bodies of terrorists were buried, and a case was filed at the Nyaungchaung police station under Section 50 (I) of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
In fact, those who died in the conflict were not civilians but armed men who attacked the security forces. In any country, security forces have the right to defend themselves and protect the sovereignty of the country; and they certainly have the duty to enforce the rule of law in their country. Is the accusation made by AP professional?

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