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  • Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media
  • Check Whether Photos Are Original or Photoshopped or Out of Context Pictures
  • Check Google images for Authenticity-You Can Find Help from Google Reverse Images Search
  • Beware of Fake News Websites Which Run by People With No Journalism Background to Promote Their Own Ideology
  • Check the News Sources from Other Websites Whether They Picked Up the Story or Not
  • Forwarding Social Media Messages from Unknown Sources or Little Known Sources, It Would be Better to Ignore Them
  • You Can Easily Identify Fake Messages if the Message Requests You to Share
  • Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred
  • Always Check Fact Checking Sites if You Have Some Doubts About the Authenticity of Any Information or Picture


China Border Fence, Aimed at Curbing COVID-19 Spread, Draws Complaints in Myanmar

A Man Holds on to a Rail on a Barbed-Wire Fence Near a Border Post on the Chinese Side of the Border Between China and Myanmar’s Northern Shan State, December 10,2020- Photo Courtesy of Photo courtesy of Ngwe Doe/Facebook via RFA

Chinese authorities building a fence topped with barbed-wire along China’s border with Myanmar’s Shan state to curb the spread of the coronavirus failed to hold pre-construction talks with their Myanmar counterparts and may have infringed upon the officially demarcated border line, local administrators said.

Work began on the “Southern Great Wall” earlier this year, of which 660 kilometers (410 miles) have already been completed, RFA reported on Dec. 14. Chinese authorities started erecting the border fence along three townships of the Kokang Self-administered Zone in September.

The fence, three meters (10 feet) high in some places, is intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by stopping illegal crossings in both directions, according to Chinese media.

Ngwe Doe, general administrator of Laukkai township, said Chinese authorities told him that the purpose of the fence is to prevent illegal border crossings during the height of the COVID-19 virus and that it will be removed when the pandemic is over.

As of Tuesday, Myanmar reported 117,946 COVID-19 cases and 2,484 deaths, while China continued to report 86,867 confirmed cases and 4,634 total deaths, according to information from health ministries in both countries.

“The fence is made of iron poles and barbed wire, which seems temporary,” Ngwe Doe said. “I didn’t see security cameras at the location I observed, but they said there is one or two in some areas. So far, they haven’t electrified the fence.”

The governors of Laukkai township inspected the border fence in November and early December and protested to Chinese authorities about it.

Complaints arose over whether the construction of the fence violated a border demarcation treaty the two countries signed in 1961 that prohibits the building of structures or barriers within 10 meters (33 feet) of the borderline.

Ngwe Doe said the fence does not cover entire the 39-mile-long border in Laukkai township, but rather locations where they are frequent unofficial border crossings.

Part of the fence near border post BP-125 was within 10 meters of the official borderline, while post BP-131 was on the Chinese side of the border, he said.

Myint Khine, general secretary of the Kokang Democratic Party, said the Chinese are building border fences in areas in other regions of Myanmar.

“I don’t know what their intentions are,” he said. “We’ve got nothing to protest about if they comply with the border treaty, regardless of what their intentions are.”

Protests lodged over fence

Thein Min Tun, director of the Border Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that temporary fences are allowed under the treaty, but permanent barriers are not.

The Myanmar government has lodged protests concerning eight locations where the fence has violated the 10-meter rule, he said.

“We have lodged protests over the parts that have violated the treaty; it does not cover entire border,” Thein Min Tun said. “The China-Myanmar border is very lengthy, so they don’t need to build a fence along the entire border. Some of the fencing falls within 10 meters of the border, but some doesn’t. We have lodged protests over the parts that fall within 10 meters.”

Chinese and Myanmar authorities will meet to discuss the issue, he added.

The Myanmar military also sent a letter to Chinese officials objecting to the fence construction of in Laukkai township, the online journal The Irrawaddy reported in late November, citing military spokesperson Major General Zaw Min Tun.

A local battalion objected based on the 1961 treaty after Chinese authorities built fences near border post BP-125 and between posts BP-121 and BP-122 in November, the report said.

In response to complaints from local administrators and the military, China suspended construction work, and Kokang officials visited the site to negotiate with officials involved in the construction work, the report said.

Siling, a China-Myanmar relations analyst, told RFA Mandarin Service in an earlier report that the construction of the border fence was not an immediate measure only to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic but a long-term measure for other purposes.

“The wall is not an idea that came up overnight,” he said. “It is a carefully crafted project” to prevent citizens on both sides from easy border crossing.

“Another purpose for China to build the border wall is to prevent the Chinese citizens from escaping,” Soling said. “China does not want to see the escaping [to Southeast Asia] trend continuing.”

RFA called the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar for comment and was referred to the media relations department, which did not respond.

RFA also contacted President’s Office spokesman Zaw Htay, Shan state government spokesman Soe Nyunt Lwin, and Shan state secretary Nay Lynn, but they hadn’t respond by publication time.

“There are many areas along the border where interlopers can cross the border illegally,” said Ye Htun, a former lower house lawmaker representing Shan state’s Hsipaw township.

In Muse township, people can easily cross the border via trials that cut across farms, while houses on the China side of the border are very close to the demarcation line, he said.

“So they [Chinese authorities] might be wary of infections across the border,” Ye Htun said. “The COVID-19 outbreak began in China after all. Thai authorities are now actively arresting illegal border crossers from Myanmar. China might be doing the same thing.”

Porous border

Khine Win, executive director of Sandhi Governance Institute, a Yangon-based think tank, also said that that the fence project was likely meant to contain the spread of the highly contagious respiratory virus.

“I have been to Laukkai. There are casinos with patrons mostly from China. It is possible that they only intend to contain the outbreak,” he said.

China and Myanmar share a porous 2,227-kilometer (1,384-mile) border with China that workers and migrants cross daily.

Though the two countries agreed to have joint inspections of the officially demarcated boundary every five years under the 1961 border protocol, the last review was conducted in 1995.

Reported by Waiyan Moe Myint and Phyu Phyu Khine. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036.

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How to identify Fake News or Messages on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is the duplicate one might be or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us or Whats App:+916289017966

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