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Media is not only bias but also Eurocentric in Human Rights views

Posted by on June 22, 2013 in Main Blog | 0 comments

Media is not only bias but also Eurocentric in Human Rights views

The Time magazine and AP which is then used by media outlets in the US such as Fox and ABC discuss a lopsided view of what is going on in Myanmar.
An example is a U Wirathu, 46, from Mandalay’s Masoeyein Monastery.
“I told their reporter when they came and met me that it was the Muslims who gave me this name. I didn’t refer to myself this way, but [Time] used this name in the story,” he said.

Reading the article which was sent to me by my Buddhist friends in Canada, I read “His face as still and serene as a statue’s, the Buddhist monk who has taken the title “the Burmese bin Laden” begins his sermon. Hundreds of worshippers sit before him, palms pressed together, sweat trickling silently down their sticky backs. On cue, the crowd chants with the man in burgundy robes, the mantras drifting through the sultry air of a temple in Mandalay, Burma’s second biggest city after Rangoon. It seems a peaceful scene, but Wirathu’s message crackles with hate. “Now is not the time for calm,” the 46-year-old monk intones, as he spends 90 minutes describing the many…”
Is this about Human Rights or is it about now finding a new cause in Burma selling abuse there when using terms such as Burmese thugs and Burmese Buddhist mobs? No longer having the army or police to call monsters these pushers of ideas have now turned their gaze on the religious conflicts/and ethnic conflicts that is taking place in this fledgling “free” Myanmar.

The peoples of Myanmar/Burma must question Western media outlets that had been working on as to why the extreme verbal language when describing the sectarian/religious violence. Perhaps they no longer have  to champion DASSK’s release and stopping the abusive behaviour of the army. I know it is to sell their papers and support getting media dollars for their organizations – But then ethics is not involved. Many do not have a campaign to champion for or to write about in Burma as most of the issues are economic and the coming together of the Developed governments to stop sanctions against the state. This is no longer filled with blood and terror. The same media no longer has images of the Boston Bombing and since they have a nine day attention span, journalist in their decision making have a new agenda – the Buddhist mobs in Myanmar. I am not discounting the violence that has taken place; it is an area that many within the country and around the world are trying to solve. This part of the story is underreported as it is not as sexy as putting “bin Laden” tag that their viewers understand.

Time and other Western media need to stop inflaming the situation. They view the Burmese Buddhist as the dominant group and will slant media coverage against them. The new found freedom of speech has not taught the peoples of Myanmar to push back and speak out. I did not hear anything about Somalia and the killing of 14 UN workers, or Malaysia and the killings and deportations from that country. I think pointing out the lack of coverage of how Christians are treated by the Saudi Arabians as well as the lack of coverage of Imams that speak hate speech against others while living in the UK, USA is left to the side – no story there. Therefore, there has to be a push back by those expats living in the USA, CANADA, UK and Australia to name a few areas.
Many reporters and human rights groups in the Western world want another human rights issue to champion in Myanmar so they like to push the idea that there are thugs and Buddhist mobs and mass genocide like Germany. Blinded by this worship of rights they cannot find information of the good will among people on all sides in the country who are coming together to live and stop the violence in Myanmar. My standard have been for the last decade to work with like minded people and advocate for rights with peace using love as the motivation and not the self centered ‘I know best ‘ attitudes.

Time and many journalists have to sell news. It is the people who have to sell ideas about communal living and solving religious/ethnic tensions like the article naming  Kyaw Min Swe, Chief Editor of the Voice Daily Dr. Ashin Dhamma Piyaka

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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