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November 12, 2019

Myanmar Permanent Representative expresses concern over unverified allegations of human rights situation in Rakhine State

The Permanent Representative U Kyaw Moe Tun delivered a statement in response to the oral update on Myanmar by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the on-going 41st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 10 July.
In his rebuttal statement, the Permanent Representative underlined the importance of respect for human rights based on fairness and inclusiveness in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious country like Myanmar during the democratic transition. He expressed concern over unverified allegations of human rights situation in Rakhine State which found their way to the reports of the Council. He highlighted that the current government has identified this matter as a national priority as well as the need for rule of law and sustainable development in Rakhine State.
He reiterated the government’s efforts including setting up of the Central Committee, establishment of Dr Kofi Annan’ Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, implementation of the recommendations and progress achieved despite challenges and a series of ARSA terrorist attacks, as well as concrete steps taken to create conducive condition for returnees.
Responding to some critics citing little or no effort by the Myanmar government to create conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced persons, the Permanent Representative urged them to assess the situation objectively and impartially. He expressed the government’s concern over the possible disastrous effect of monsoon season on displaced persons and reiterated Myanmar’s readiness to receive verified returnees as bilaterally agreed in the Arrangements.
He expressed his hope for successful repatriation in an amicable manner in accordance with the bilateral arrangements and emphasized the imperative need of genuine and sincere cooperation and stressed the need to avoid misusing international platforms including the UN to pressure on Myanmar.
He stressed the preparation by Myanmar side for expeditious repatriation including the planned visit of members of Joint Working Group of Myanmar to Cox’s Bazar in the second half of July, providing advanced information to potential returnees and cooperation with friendly nations in building houses, cooperation with UNDP and UNHCR for Quick Impact Projects, as well as cooperation with ASEAN AHA Centre. Myanmar is hoping to receive fullest cooperation from Bangladesh during the planned visit to Cox’s Bazar, he stated.
He reiterated Myanmar’s full commitment in ensuring accountability for alleged human rights violations in Rakhine if there is concrete evidence. “The ICOE has also requested Bangladesh already 3 times since January this year, for a visit to Cox’s Bazar. No response has been received from Bangladesh so far”, he stated. The Permanent Representative highlighted the need to have cooperation from Bangladesh to complete the credible report of ICOE.
He explained about the government’s humanitarian assistance provided to all affected communities and initiatives launched to promote inter-communal cohesion and confidence among different communities. He also mentioned that the government has exerted all efforts and resources in putting Rakhine’s development trajectory on track.
While reiterating the government’s resolution to overcome complex challenges of the issue in Rakhine, he cautioned that these problems will be exacerbated and prolonged by continued unhelpful pressure, non-cooperative behaviour and non-constructive manner which could inflame the discourse, and detract from essential pursuit of a peaceful and diplomatic solution.
He called upon the international community to join hands with Myanmar in a constructive and sincere way to find a sustainable solution towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous Rakhine State and concluded by stressing that progress in every field will not be possible overnight, but the work by the current government in the past 3 years has achieved wide ranging and durable impact on the ground, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.—MNA

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