Journalists Beaten By Staff Of Chinese Joint Venture

Reporters in Kachin State Are Attacked For Publishing Negative Story

Network Media Group
February 27, 2019

Employees of a Chinese joint venture company assaulted two journalists for publishing an unfavourable story about its activities with a banana tissue culture plantation.

Seng Mai, the chief editor of Myitkyina News, where the journalists worked, said they reported about how Tha Khin Sit Mining, Import and Export Company was preparing land for a plantation in Mang Tawng and Shawor villages in Waing Maw township.

“We reported about how the villagers were opposed to the plantation the company was trying to make,” Seng Mai said. Even the village administrator is against it. “We also wrote about the negative impacts the plantation will have on the environment.”

During the assaults, Ah Jay was forced to do so many sit-ups he can’t walk now.

Employees from the mining company beat Moon Moon Pan’s face with a copy of the Myitkyina News. The vicious assault has left her traumatized, Seng Mai said.

During the ordeal, the reporters were detained in different rooms in the compound. At some point, both were able to contact their colleagues to inform them what was happening.

Before they were separated, Ah Jay took photos of Moon Moon Pan being beaten with his mobile and sent them to the Myitkyina News.

After they were published on the newspaper’s Facebook page staff of the mining company saw them and forced Ah Jay to do more sit-ups.

The photos were removed after Moon Moon Pan called the newspaper urging they be taken down.

Police arrived on the scene and freed the reporters after the Myitkyina News called them.

Five charges have been filed against the company’s managing director and other employees by the newspaper.

In recent years, there have been many Chinese banana tissue culture plantations developed in the area. Sometimes on fallow land previously occupied by villagers displaced by fighting between the Burmese Army and Kachin Independence Army.