Andrew Harding deported from Burma

He’d only just arrived, but the Burmese authorities weren’t having any of it. Andrew Harding was hoping to report on the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, but he was on the next plane out when ‘irregularities’ were spotted at border control. AFP quotes the state run New Light of Mynamar newspaper,

“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. link

Jon Williams on The BBC Editors blog picks up on the story. Most BBC reporters don’t mind being spotted whenever they’re out and about, he says but in this case it means the BBC have just the one man in Burma now,

Andrew Harding arrived in Rangoon just hours after the cyclone hit on Monday morning. But after passing through immigration, an eagle-eyed policeman spotted our intrepid reporter in the baggage hall. Andrew was put on the next plane to Bangkok…
…So it is, that Paul Danahar – more used to being behind the camera as our Asia-Pacific bureau chief rather in front of the microphone – finds himself as the only British broadcaster inside the country. link