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No Discriminatory Policy Towards Media, Says ASEAN

No discriminatory policy towards media, says ASEAN

Jakarta (29 June) -- ASEAN does not have a discriminatory policy toward the media or in any other matters.

The report in The Irrawaddy titled "Burmese journalists banned from ASEAN Press Conference" dated 25 June 2008 erroneously pointed out that a media conference was held on 24 June 2008 by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan. Dr Surin did not hold a media conference, even with the ASEAN media.

Dr Surin said, "Myanmar was persuaded into inviting the ASEAN media in time to cover the ASEAN Roundtable on the Post Nargis Joint Assessment preliminary report and for the field trip to inspect the extent of the damage and destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis on the Irrawaddy Delta."

The Secretary-General of ASEAN said, "The world is still very sceptical of our joint efforts. The international community is very critical of ASEAN and UN engagement with Myanmar even on humanitarian grounds. This has to be balanced; the view cannot be left uncorrected."

Dr Surin added, "We all share a common concern – to help the Nargis victims. The ASEAN media could play an important role here and indeed, they did play such a role, reporting on the extent of the damage to the Irrawaddy Delta and the needs of the people."

(ASEAN)

ENDS

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