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March 19, 2019

Constructive engagement, cooperation key to promote, protect human rights

  • Myanmar is determined to continue its journey towards establishing a democratic federal Union in which the values of human rights and democracy have taken firm root.
    While carrying out reforms for building such a Union, the Government has been working to bring about peace and national reconciliation, promote the rule of law, develop democratic practices, and ensure a clean government and good governance.
    Despite facing challenges along the way, the government is committed to reaching the goal of transforming Myanmar into a democratic federal Union with collective strength. It has been moving step-by-step to make the peace process successful and find a sustainable resolution for the Rakhine issue.
    The recent outbreak of violence ignited by attacks on police outposts by AA insurgents has further complicated the situation in Rakhine.
    The government has already made a commitment to find a sustainable resolution to ensure peace, stability, and development for all people, including implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Commission headed by Kofi Annan.
    With regards to the repatriation process, Myanmar is ready to receive verified returnees in accordance with the bilateral agreement with Bangladesh.
    The government has asked Bangladesh to resume the Joint Working Group Meeting in April to commence repatriation of verified displaced persons, including 444 Hindus, who are yearning to return, of their volition.
    It has been questioned as to why the Special Rapporteur has said she was not aware that the displaced persons at the camps in Cox’s Bazar have repeatedly expressed their desire to return to Rakhine State.
    Myanmar is working not only with the UNDP and UNHCR, but also with ASEAN and regional partners to create a favorable environment for returnees.
    Myanmar has taken into consideration the plight of all communities affected by the violence triggered by coordinated attacks of ARSA against multiple security outposts in October, 2016 and August, 2017.
    The reason for the massive displacement of the people is the seed of fear sown by ARSA.
    The government has said it is committed to ensuring accountability where there is credible evidence of human rights violations in Rakhine State.
    The Independent Commission of Enquiry, established by the Union Government, is investigating all alleged violations of human rights and atrocities.
    The Government is willing and able to address the accountability issue.
    In the meantime, every independent mandate holder or mechanism created by the UN Human Rights Council must strictly adhere to the principles of independence, impartiality, and integrity.
    It is also equally important for a mandate holder to refrain from making biased reports and unconstructive statements that can affect prevailing social cohesion and unity in a country.

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