The Myanmar Times
Saturday, 25 October 2014
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Amid steamed up censors, sex education publisher fights Myanmar's ban

Ko Oo Swe, editor of ‘Nyote’, at his house in Yangon during an interview in November 2012. (AFP)Ko Oo Swe, editor of ‘Nyote’, at his house in Yangon during an interview in November 2012. (AFP)

The editor of a controversial sex education magazine banned by the government last week has vowed to fight to regain the right to distribute the publication.

The Printers, Publishers, Registration and Distribution Supervisory Central Committee, headed by Minister for Information U Aung Kyi, revoked the licence of Nyote (Allure) magazine at a meeting on January 9.

The committee also warned six publications for going “beyond the genres” they had specified when applying for a publishing licence, committee joint secretary U Ye Tint, who is also managing director of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise, was quoted as saying in state-run media.

He said Nyote had applied for a licence for a fashion magazine “but rather published a near pornography”.

But editor Ko Oo Swe told The Myanmar Times last week he was “going to send an appeal letter to the Ministry of Information” over the revocation of the licence.

“They punished me because I applied for a licence for a fashion magazine so I am going to write to them and explain that sex education is sorely needed in Myanmar. I intend to explain the effects of the lack of sex education,” he said.

The first issue of Nyote hit stands on November 27.

U Ye Tint said the publication of the magazine had met with “widespread disapproval”.

But Ko Oo Swe said it had been “very popular” among teenagers, with 2000 copies of the first issue distributed. He had been preparing the second issue when the ban was announced, he said.

Dr Mei Mei Ko, managing director of healthcare provider Mieko, said better sex education was needed for young people, whether they were married or not.

“But Myanmar society is quite conservative and perhaps this kind of magazine will not be accepted for some time yet.”