The BBC announced on Monday that it was suspending its Burmese service for Burmese television, condemning censorship in a country where the Rohingya Muslim minority was barred from taboos.
From April 2014, the BBC from its headquarters in Rangoon produces a daily news bulletin for the Myanmar TV channel, which is watched by some 3.7 million viewers.
The BBC announced the suspension of the cooperation on Monday because the channel refused to publish a number of its programs since March.
“The BBC can not accept interference in its programs or censorship by television broadcasters because it undermines viewers’ confidence,” the group said in a statement.
“The problem lies in the use of the Rohingya label in BBC programs,” a Burmese television official, who declined to be identified, told AFP. “They are still using the word Rohinga, which does not fit our policy,” he said.
But the BBC’s programs in Burmese will remain available on the British Internet Channel website, which has been an important source of information for Aung San Suu Kyi during her prolonged house arrest during the military rule.
Burmese Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, has refrained from using the term “Rohingya” and has been heavily criticized abroad for running the file.
About one million people from this Muslim minority in the western state of Rakhine, which is not recognized and considered by Bangladesh despite its presence in this region for generations, have been deprived of health and education services.
Some 60,000 people, most of them from the Ruhinga minority, have fled to fighting in western Burma, where at least 250,000 people have been denied food aid because of clashes between the army and the rebels.
The violence broke out after rebels from the Rohingya attacked on August 25 about 30 police stations under the banner of defending the rights of the Muslim minority. In effect, the Burmese army began a large-scale operation in this remote and poor region, forcing tens of thousands to flee.