A relieved and emotional Mr Ross Dunkley returned to the offices of The Myanmar Times on March 30 for the first time since his arrest on February 10 and said he was confident he would be acquitted in the near future.
Mr Dunkley, speaking a day after being released on bail, was given a standing ovation by staff members and presented with a bouquet as he entered the newspaper’s offices on Bo Aung Kyaw Street in downtown Yangon.
“What a welcome. What a team. Without you I don’t think I could have survived those 47 days and nights,” he said, referring to Insein prison, where he was held following his arrest on charges of assaulting a woman and breaching visa regulations.
“It has been a humbling experience,” said Mr Dunkley, 53, who addressed staff while standing on a chair.
“A lot of people have done a lot of hard work and that is the reason why I am able to speak to you today,” he said.
His voice choked with emotion, Mr Dunkley had to pause to regain his composure when thanking the company’s staff, as well as his legal team, friends and family for their efforts of his behalf and gestures of support.
Referring to the company’s majority shareholder, who replaced Mr Dunkley as chief executive officer following his arrest, Mr Dunkley said: “Dr Tin Tun Oo and I have had our differences and we may continue to do so, but he has worked hard behind the scenes in Nay Pyi Taw to secure my release and I sincerely thank him for that.”
Mr Dunkley said he loved Myanmar and its people and noted that his return to The Myanmar Times had come on the same day as the swearing in of the nation’s new government.
“It is a new start, a new era,” he said.
Mr Dunkley’s hearing will continue on April 4 and he said he had confidence in the Myanmar legal system.
However, he expressed contempt for some reports about his case that have appeared in both domestic and international media.
“Slanderous comments have been made about me,” he said. “They are repugnant.”