Journalists Assaulted By Mining Company

Lu Lu Pan (left) and Lapat Hkawng Lum
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Two journalists were assaulted by staff of a mining company after they detained them for publishing an unfavourable story about the company's dealings with a Chinese banana tissue culture plantation.

Two journalists were assaulted by staff of a mining company after they detained them for publishing an unfavourable story about the company's dealings with a Chinese banana tissue culture plantation.

Mon Mon Pan, a senior reporter for Myitkyina News Journal, and her colleague, Lapat Hkawng Lum, were invited by Ting Sau, director for Thakhin-Sit Mining, Import and Export Company, to discuss their recent report. The pair were assaulted after arriving at the compound, Mon Mon Pan said.

Ting Sau shouted at Mon Mon Pan and slapped her on the face with a copy of the Myitkyina News Journal. Lapat Hkawng Lum was forced to do 300 sit-ups by three company staff.

The Myitkyina News Journal reported about how Thakhin-Sit started road construction for a Chinese tissue culture banana plantation in Man Dawng village-tract located in Waing Maw township.

An employee of Thakhin-Sit that asked to remain anonymous told the KNG the company isn't involved in growing banana tissue culture.

“I didn't write that Thakhin-Sit is growing banana tissue culture plantation or attack their company. I just reported the news.”

Mon Mon Pan said she spoke with the Mang Tawng village administrator who told her the company was making a road for the banana plantation.

Assaulting journalists is an attack against all media and rule of law, said Zau Hkun, CEO of Myitkyina News Journal.

"They can't do whatever they want to us because we report the real information for the public," Zau Hkun said.

A case against the company was opened by the journalists. The charges include: article 354 for sexual harassment; article 294 for abusive gesture; article 341 for injustice block; article 323 for physically pain; and article 114 for supporting the abuses.

A statement condemning the attacks and demanding for the Kachin State government to take action was issued by a coalition of media groups across the country.

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