Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pyithu Hluttaw unanimously denounces UN envoy’s rights report

 July 25, 2017
The end-of-mission statement by UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Ms. Yanghee Lee was denounced in yesterday’s Pyithu Hluttaw session by a unanimous vote.

The motion to denounce the report dated 21 July was put forward yesterday by parliamentarian Daw Thandar.
Ms. Yanghee Lee criticised the government’s restrictions imposed on her recent 12-day trip to Myanmar as well as the government’s inaction on alleged abuses in conflict areas.

“I have to say I am disappointed to see the tactics applied by the previous government still being used’’ she said during the press conference on 21 July in Yangon at the conclusion of her visit.

In response, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin said the incumbent government has inherited numerous issues including armed conflicts, differences in political viewpoints, slow all-round development and poverty. He said they are building trust between the different societies and trying to turn many differences into a driving force for resolving these issues.

The Union Minister said he agrees with the motion since at such a critical point in time it is disruptive to the connection between the different societies when the focus is given to the human rights of just one society.

He said the government is giving priority to the national reconciliation process and the peace process which will bring peace and stability, development and democracy to the people which in turn will end the human rights issues from armed conflicts. He suggested firmly that it would be of more use to cooperate with the government rather than to lay blame.
U Kyaw Tin said they gave thought to constructive criticism to practically deal with the situation of the country. He said the government favours a communicative approach as opposed to direct confrontation in matters of human rights. He said cooperation with the UN is a foundation in Myanmar’s foreign policy and there has been cooperation with successive UN Special Rapporteurs for Human Rights in Myanmar since the previous government’s administration.
Ms. Yanghee Lee has served as the UN envoy since 2014 and has made three visits in the previous government’s administration and three more in the current administration, including her 12-day visit from 10 to 21 July 2017.

Ms. Yanghee Lee’s mandate was extended another year in the 34th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, continuing her role in watching human rights issues in Myanmar.

“She demanded to visit Rakhine, Shan and Kayin states and the government allowed her to visit the three states. But the government did not allow her to visit some areas out of concern for her security and because she gave us short notice,” said U Kyaw Tin.

“The government made arrangements for her to meet Union ministers and authorities from the states and regions,” he added.
He continued to say that the government was disappointed with the Special Rapporteur’s end-of-mission statement, as it contains many sweeping allegations and a number of factual errors and for her failure to facilitate the discharge of her HRC mandate.

The statement also contains unconfirmed information and allegations and she did not reflect the clarification of the authorities over the allegations.

“ It is found that there is no fairness and balance in the statement, but bias,” said the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Her failure to mention the challenges the government is striving to overcome in its efforts to promote development and communal harmony in Rakhine State and the threats posed by the extremists shows that she neglects the actual situation in the state, said U Kyaw Tin.

He added that UN Human Rights Rapporteur should understand the challenges that Myanmar is facing as they strive to promote human rights for its peoples while the country is moving towards democracy peacefully, he said.
Thura Zaw, Mi Mi Phyo (Myanmar News Agency)

Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar

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