Nay Pyi Taw December 27
Tatmadaw True News Information Team issued a press release on 25 December saying that no fighting occurred between Tatmadaw columns and TNLA near Shwehmaw Village, Kutkai Township, warning against any instigation to disrupt the peace process as RFA, The Voice, Marnagar News Journal, The Ladies, Mizzima, The Irrawaddy and Khit Thit Media reported news about fighting between TNLA and Myanmar military in Kutkai Township by quoting news sources released in social media by the news and information department of PSLF/TNLA on 24 December 2018.
Likewise, Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)’s news and information department reported that Tatmadaw columns provided fire support with heavy weapons for Restoration Council of Shan State(RCSS) during the fighting between SSPP and RCSS that occurred Tunkyaing Village on 24 and 25 December. SSPP reporting was quoted again by VOA, The Fifth Wave News, The Ladies and The Irrawaddy. In response to the news,an official from Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare clarified that the Tatmadaw has nothing to do with the ongoing conflict between them and that the Tatmadaw did not support any of them. However, RFA quoted the news again without assessment and confirmation.
Moreover, RCSS from Tai-Freedom released a statement saying that clashes broke out RCSS and Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) near Nyaungcho Village,Mongpan Township, Shan State(South) on 25 December. The statement also accused the Tatmadaw of supporting PNLO in its fight against RCSS. The Irrawddy quoted the news based on a unilateral source with intent to cause misunderstanding of the Tatmadaw and disrupt the peace efforts.
The Tatmadaw has officially allowed news coverage of military affairs expect future tasks and information deemed indecent for the public and confirmation from respective ministers for security and border affairs and command staff colonels from respective military command headquarters.
Thus, news agencies need to do authentic reporting only after confirmation from respective ministers for security and border affairs and command staff colonels from respective military command headquarters. They are urged not to release any news that can lead to misunderstanding over the peace process. If news agencies continue their reporting without scrutiny and confirmation, they will face action in accordance with the law.
Tatmadaw True News Information Team