Myanmar vows no restrictions to journos
Myanmar yesterday pledged "no restrictions" on journalists visiting the troubled state of Rakhine this week, in the first official trip to include foreign reporters to mostly Rohingya Muslim villages affected by violence since October.
Eighteen Myanmar nationals and foreigners representing international media arrived in Sittwe yesterday ahead of a government-escorted visit to Buthidaung and Maungdaw, where most residents are stateless Rohingyas.
"There are no restrictions regarding the areas that you can report from," said Thet Swe, a director at the Ministry of Information's News and Periodicals Enterprise.
"We didn't arrange any 'for show' places for news reporting," he said. The government has blocked independent journalists and human rights monitors from going to the area for the past nine months.
Last year, Myanmar's army unleashed a crackdown in the area after Rohingya militants attacked posts near the Bangladesh border.
Some 75,000 people fled across the nearby border to Bangladesh, according to the UN, which has documented allegations of gang rape, torture, arson and killings by security forces.
Myanmar's government has denied most of the allegations.