YANGON (AFP) — Myanmar has deported a BBC journalist who tried to enter the country to report on a cyclone that has killed 22,000 people, saying he had violated visa regulations, a state newspaper said Wednesday.
Andrew Harding flew into Yangon from Bangkok on Monday, but was deported shortly after his arrival, the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
"A journalist who is working for BBC was deported as he broke visa rules and regulations," the paper said, saying Harding had tried to enter the country on a tourist visa instead of an official journalist visa.
"Journalists from news agencies in Western countries illegally entered the country very often and made fabricated news with the help of anti-government groups," it said.
The newspaper said Harding had been blacklisted from the country after he had earlier entered on a tourist visa in 2006 and again last September as anti-government protests were getting underway.
"He interviewed anti-government groups and aired false accusations and fabricated news in his 'Undercover Burma' programme," the paper said.
"He met with those creating unrest in Yangon and put their demands for the unrest in his broadcast," it added.
The paper said Myanmar's military government had not taken legal action against Harding "for the sake of friendly relations" with Britain.
Buddhist monks led protests that snowballed in September into the biggest anti-government rallies seen in nearly 20 years.
Security forces opened fire on the protesters and beat protesters in the street to break up the marches, leaving at least 31 dead, according to the United Nations.
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