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Minister Offers to Meet Press Council Over Publishing Bill

8 August 2013

Burma’s information minister has offered to meet with the country’s interim Press Council concerning a controversial publishing bill passed by the Lower House of Parliament last month, Eleven Media reports. Minister Aung Kyi’s offer comes amid an ongoing campaign by the Myanmar Journalist Network against the proposed legislation, which opponents say curbs free speech by giving the Information Ministry extensive power over publications’ licensing. The minister has been criticized for his handling of the bill’s drafting, originally promising to allow the Press Council free reign to draft a bill before his ministry unilaterally submitted its own bill to Parliament, without consulting the council.