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Urgent proposal submitted to condemn UN rep’s statement

An urgent proposal strongly criticising the statement issued on July 21 by Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, was submitted to the Pyithu Hluttaw on Monday.

The proposal was submitted by National League for Democracy MP Daw Thandar of Einme township, Ayeyarwady Region.

Daw Thandar said she submitted the proposal because the statement by Yanghee Lee turned a blind eye to the reconciliation efforts of the Myanmar government and to Myanmar’s cooperation with the UN, adding that it was an inaccurate description of what is happening in Rakhine State.

“We will submit our criticism of her statement to the UN General Assembly session in October. Her statement is biased and can result in wrong decisions being taken by the UN,” she said. She added that Yanghee Lee had made no mention of the man-made tunnel, guns and training camps uncovered in the Mayu Mountains.

“The whole country is worried that terrorists will gain a foothold by exploiting the unrest in northern Rakhine State,” said Daw Thandar, adding that Yanghee Lee had said nothing about the innocent people who have lost their lives and property because of the attacks by radicals.

The government formed an Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the UN, to cope with the complicated issue of Rakhine State and to try to improve human rights. According to an interim report issued in March by the commission, the government closed three refugee camps in Kyaukphyu, Rambre and Pauktaw townships and allowed 55 households of people to move to Yangon. It also issued more than 20,000 birth certificates, she said.

The proposal was seconded by NLD MP U Kyaw Soe Lin, from Mandalay Region’s Pyigyitagun township. “The special rapporteur’s accusations were based on incorrect information, and she did not say anything about the government’s difficulties in dealing with internal conflicts, isolation and the country’s development, which has been delayed for decades,” he said.

Arkan National Party MP U Pe Than, from Rakine State’s Myebon township, said he supports the proposal and the Hluttaw’s response to the special rapporteur. “Only by responding strongly can we face pressures properly,” he said.

About Yanghee Lee, he said, “This is sixth time she came here. In her first and second visit, I didn’t notice that she was biased, but I felt it later. Every time she visits, nothing good comes of it, only biased reports. She is not a friend of our country.”

Union Solidarity and Development Party MP U Thein Tun, from Ayeyarwady Region’s Kyaunggon township, also supported the proposal. “MPs will discuss it and union ministers will give explanations. That’s why I like it,” he said.

Shan Nationalities League for Democracy MP U Sai Thiha Kyaw, from Shan State’s Mongyai township, praised the NLD. “The government has responded to the special rapporteur, as has the Hluttaw,” he said.

Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint announced that MPs who want to discuss the proposal must register by Monday evening, but he did not set a date for the discussion.


© 2017 The Myanmar Times

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