By Ko Yin Aw
World-famous Pacifist—the Pontiff’s friendly visit to Myanmar, in which deterrent principles of shame and fear which guard the world from falling into chaos are developing, is hoped to send a message on peace. All the Myanmar citizens like myself living together peacefully throughout the history sharing happiness and woes, regardless of race, religions or color welcomed the Papal Peace Visit wholeheartedly.
To my great astonishment, we heard some global media writing that many people were unsatisfied with the Papal failure to publicize about the people claiming they belong to which race, during the peace journey, feeling ridiculous in my mind as if their minds are too immature to be well convinced of actualities.
Here, I would like the global community to consider Myanmar’s affair rightfully and impartially. On seeing some global media writing that human right activists were unsatisfied with the Pontiff’s failure to speak out a word they eagerly aspired during the papal visit to Myanmar as a Peace Prophet, an itching desire to write down the article occurred to me. If it goes uncared complexities will appear, I think so.
“A common rest place is present with various kinds of men, resulting in a variety of gossip,” as the Myanmar saying goes. Media ethics include impartiality, but religious and racial bias is being found today. Accordingly, it is necessary for news media to be free from prejudices based on desire, anger, fear or ignorance.
Mass exodus of people from the western gate was actually attributed to long-lasting tortures of the people who claim themselves as which kind of race. The actual event was falsely fabricated by some media that Myanmar Tatmadaw had committed ethnic cleansing. These false allegations made me know that there are still media like the horse with no one pulling its rein.
Some media are shaping that there are events of committing genocides in Myanmar, like 1994 Rwandan genocide. That is why Myanmar’s image, whose populace greatly values the four cardinal virtues—loving kindness, sympathy, kindness and forgiveness, was besmirched.
Here I firmly believe that the Vatican would have been well convinced of Rakhine State affair as a very sensitive issue. As far as I know some media expressed hint of dissatisfactions over the Pope’s reticence on the people who they are. Simultaneously, I noticed that these media were exaggerating the statements of those peoples.
Due to similar presentations of global media belonging to the same origin, I tried myself to hear Mr. Greg Burke, the spoke-person to the Pontiff’s Myanmar Visit.
A very sensitive term
On 29th November, Mr. Greg Burke, a spoke-person to the Pope Francis and a veteran US journalist said at a news conference held at the Shangri-La Hotel, concerning failure to use the very sensitive word. Asked for a reaction to international human rights groups that have expressed disappointment, Burke said, “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.”
“I find it hard to believe [the pope] has lost any moral authority on this,” Burke said. “People are not expected to solve impossible problems.”
“I’m very happy that people think the pope is all-powerful, but he’s not,” Burke said, saying Francis can’t “parachute” into places such as Myanmar or the Middle East and make problems disappear.
“Nobody ever said Vatican diplomacy’s infallible,” Burke added, though insisting that in this case there are no second thoughts.
Father Mariano Soe Naing, a spokesman for the Myanmar Catholic bishops’ conference, said nation’s struggle for democracy, he argued, “cannot be ignored.” Thousands died for it, Soe Naing told reporters, and he described standing strongly behind Suu Kyi as the best way to guarantee it remains standing.
Seo Naing argued said that international criticism of Suu Kyi is putting democracy at risk, because it could lead the military to say “you trusted democracy, it’s no guarantee to protect your country, to make your life better,” and the generals would take back power and say, “We’ll beat this crisis.”
“I think it is right for the Catholic Church to come in a very strong stance for her,” Seo Naing said. “Two years ago, we couldn’t have done this [press conference], we would not have been here, if it were not for the bloodshed in the streets. We need to go on with the democratic reform of this nation.”
Ideology and practical
Though it is theologically said that news and information are strictly to be written free from any errors, according to the media standards, biased writings are being found practically concerning the actual world events.
I think that it is necessary for a journalist who must act as a jury not to think oneself as an advocate. Provided that a media man would always plead as an advocate by claiming to make the pressed people’s voices aloud, it will be tantamount to going astray from other ethics.
Here, a saying on journalism came into my mind, “Good journalism, of course, does not advocate. It tells the truth, regardless of who looks good and who looks bad.”
Hence, we humbly would like some global media to perform the following points:
[A] to write or post standardized writings,
[B] to study historically remarkable Rakhine History [Myanmar History],
[C] to write present situation just after considering in every corner, in accord with Conflict Journalism,
[D] to rightfully apply Investigative Journalism,
[E] to be well convinced that spirits and culture of Buddhist Myanmar people is based on deep and sober religion,
[F] to work with good intentions for every citizen to have Right to Information,
[G] to write differences on national reconciliation in accord with the principles of reunification in peace and unity,
[H] to organize people to become helpful friends so that nascent blooming flowers could not wither,
[I] to make gradual march of Myanmar into the democratic nation without racial and religious segregation known to the world,
[J] to present the natural character of living in peace of all the citizens in Myanmar with freedom of religion to the world,
[K] to make living habits of Myanmar people in accord with the spirit of abiding by rule of law known to the world,
[L] to brighten up the Myanmar’s spirit of keeping human rights,
[M] to deeply study the nature of Myanmar and write based on determination by reason rather than emotion.
In writing concerning Myanmar laying stress on the four cardinal virtues, as for the global media, if they can link as a bridge of intercommunity media many moons of friendship, justice, peace and freedom will shine on our land for ever.
Translated by Khin Maung Oo