The 4th ethnic media conference involving Burma’s ethnic media organizations commenced yesterday in Mrauk-U, a town in Arakan State.
The opening ceremony of the conference kicked off at 9:00 AM at Mrauk-U Hotel, in Mrauk-U Town. The ceremony attracted over 100 participants including the Arakan State Chief Minister and the Permanent Secretary of the Information Ministry as well as domestic and international media representatives.
“Arakan State is one of the states lagging in media and technology but is now able to report the true news simultaneously with the rest of the country. However, this depends on the efforts of Arakan state’s media organizations. The support from other ethnic media organizations and media groups in the country is needed as well,” said Chief Minister U Mya Aung in his opening speech.
Chief Minister U Mya Aung continued that the law, government and justice sectors are experiencing changes due to the current democratic reformation in the country. He added that if the media sector also reforms, we would achieve nationwide democracy with peace and development.
The 3-day conference, led by Burma News International (BNI), commenced on February 14 and will conclude on February 16.
“Ethnic matters should be given first priority in Burma. Therefore, it is important that the ethnic media sector is now holding its 4th conference. And, at this conference, we decided to go with the motto ‘Peace and Reconciliation through Ethnic Media’,” said Nan Paw Gay, executive director of BNI.
Nan Paw Gay elaborated that BNI hoped to receive an answer on peace and reconciliation at its 3-day conference and wished that media organizations would be able to overcome the challenges that media groups continue to face.
Topics discussed at the conference on the first day included Situation and Challenges in Arakan State, the ethnic media landscape, the role of ethnic women journalists in Burma, the new government and freedom of expression.
Additionally, individual representatives from various ethnic media organizations discussed the ethnic media landscape and the media challenges that were apparent in their states.
The ethnic media conference was first held in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State while the second conference was held in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State. The third conference took place last year in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.