August 13, 2017

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State Counsellor: UN Rakhine probe would have increased tensions

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the Government Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.  Photo: Reuters

A United Nations decision last year to send an international fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of abuse by security forces against Muslims in Rakhine State is not in keeping with the needs of both communities in Rakhine State, said State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday.
Myanmar’s diplomatic and political leaders as well as government officials from China and India had rebuffed the mission.
“We did not feel it was in keeping with the needs of the region in which we are trying to establish harmony and understanding, and to remove the fears that have kept the two communities apart for so long,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said to reporters in Stockholm after a meeting with Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
“It would have created greater hostility between the different communities,” said the State Counsellor.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she would only accept recommendations from a separate advisory commission led by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan.
“I think we should really give the commission a chance to show whether or not they have done their work properly instead of condemning from the beginning,” she said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on 24th March following the UN’s announcement which stated that the establishment of an international fact-finding mission would do more to inflame, rather than resolve, the issues at this time.
“It is also not in accord with the situation on the ground and the national circumstances. Given this, and the government’s very real and serious efforts to build stability and find lasting solutions, Myanmar has dissociated itself from the resolution as a whole”, the statement read.
A number of the UN human rights commission member countries, including China and India, have also dissociated themselves from the resolution or voiced their opposition to the establishment of such a mission.—GNLM and Reuters

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