Rangoon (Mizzima) – The 7-Day News Journal in Rangoon has rejected allegations by the Phontphyo Myanmar Company that an article about delayed electricity service to a village in Sagaing Region is not accurate.
In June, the 7-Day News published a story saying the Phontphyo Myanmar Company carried out a project to provide electricity to Khettakan village (North) in Monywa, Sagaing Region, but the villagers who applied for the service and an electricity meter did not receive the electricity as promised. The paper said villagers lost money and incurred debts.
The company published a statement in a state-run newspaper on Sunday, claiming the story was not accurate correct and it wanted to negotiate with the journal for a correction. In response, the journal said the story was accurate.
“We are still preparing for a [potential] legal affair. Our journal’s story is correct and reliable. We have all the facts. So, we will not issue an apology, whatever the reason,” an official at 7-Day News told Mizzima.
The Phontphyo Myanmar Company statement called on the reporter to meet with company officials within two weeks. Tin Ko Thant, an engineer with the company, told Mizzima, “If they do not reply within two weeks, we will go to trial. They have not contacted us yet.”
The journal’s story said that many farmers in the village put their farmland in pawn to get the money to pay the Phontphyo Myanmar Company for an electricity meter and the electrical service [60,000 kyat], but they have not received the electricity, and some lost their farmland and incurred debts.
The company’s statement said that the reporter failed to meet with the company and the village electricity project committee to confirm the facts and the amount of money mentioned in the story.
The 7-Day News Journal said that the electricity project for the Khettakan village (North) is estimated to have cost 142 million kyat (US$ 162,564), according to an approximate calculation based on information from the township’s electrical engineering department.