The Irrawaddy Burma Election 2010

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Journalists Pressed into Election

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Leading members of the junta-controlled Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association (MWJA) will run as candidates in the general election on Nov. 7, according to journalists in Rangoon.

MWJA chairman Tin Kha, vice-chairman (1) Dr. Tin Htun Oo and central committee members Aung Nyein and Hla Htun will run in the election. They resigned from the MWJA on Aug. 27 to focus on their political campaigns.

Vice chairman (2) Tin Hlaing, the writer also known as Saw Chit, was appointed temporary chairman of the MWJA.

Speaking anonymously with The Irrawaddy on Monday, an MWJA official said, “Those who resigned will campaign as independents. Dr. Tin Htun Oo will run in Pazun Taung Township [in Rangoon].”

Sources believe that though Dr. Tin Htun Oo has no interest in politics, he was forced to run in the election by Information Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan, who reportedly knows him well.

A source close to Tin Htun Oo said: “Dr. Tin Htun Oo is not interested in politics and doesn’t want to run in the election. Kyaw Hsan reportedly asked him to run and it seems he dared not refuse.”

The military government have ordered businessmen, retired government officials and generals to run in the Nov. 7 election, the first election in 20 years.

Journalist sources also said Tin Lin, a journalist working at the Rangoon-based weekly The Voice, reportedly planned to run in the election.

The sources said that Tin Lin will receive financial support from Nay Win Maung, the founder of The Voice who has close ties with senior Burmese military officials.

Nay Win Maung belongs to the so-called “Third Force” in Burma—a group founded by businessmen, scholars and elites that opposes sanctions and advocates engagement and a business-friendly policy with the junta.
Tin Lin's resignation from The Voice has not been officially announced, but his name did not appear in the journal's staff list in the Aug. 30 edition.

"The [military] authorities give all the orders," said one Rangoon-based editor, "The journalists' code of ethics is on paper only."



Nyan_win80"Once her [Aung San Suu Kyi's] sentence expires in November, and that notion is not disputed, it is our understanding that she will have served her sentence."
—Nyan Win, the foreign minister of Burma


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