Myanmar says it will refuse entry to U.N. investigators probing Rohingya abuses
Posted on July 2nd, 2017

By Simon Lewis | YANGON Courtesy  Reuters

Myanmar will refuse entry to members of a United Nations probe focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, an official said on Friday.

The government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi had already said it would not cooperate with a mission set up after a Human Rights Council resolution was adopted in March.

“If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come,” said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital, Naypyitaw.

“Our missions worldwide are advised accordingly,” he said, explaining that visas to enter Myanmar would not be issued to the mission’s appointees or staff.

Suu Kyi, who came to power last year amid a transition from military rule, leads Myanmar through the specially created position of “State Counsellor”, but is also minister of foreign affairs.

Although she does not oversee the military, Suu Kyi has been criticized for failing to stand up for the more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine.

She said during a trip to Sweden this month the UN mission “would have created greater hostility between the different communities”. The majority in Rakhine are ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who, like many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, see the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Some 75,000 Rohingya fled northwestern Rakhine state to Bangladesh late last year after the Myanmar army carried out a security operation in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents that killed nine border police.

A U.N. report in February, based on interviews with some of the Rohingya refugees, said the response involved mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya, and “very likely” amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar, along with neighbors China and India, dissociated itself from the March resolution brought by the European Union, which called for a mission to look into the allegations in Rakhine as well as reports of abuses in ethnic conflicts in the north of the country.

Indira Jaising, an advocate from the Supreme Court of India, was appointed to lead the mission in May. The other two members are Harvard-trained Sri Lankan lawyer Radhika Coomaraswamy and Australian consultant Christopher Dominic.

Myanmar insists that a domestic investigation – headed by former lieutenant general and Vice President Myint Swe – is sufficient to look into the allegations in Rakhine.

“Why do they try to use unwarranted pressure when the domestic mechanisms have not been exhausted?” said Kyaw Zeya.

“It will not contribute to our efforts to solve the issues in a holistic manner,” he said.

An advisory panel headed by former UN chief Kofi Annan is set to propose solutions for the broader issues in Rakhine but has not been asked to investigate human rights abuses.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Paul Tait)

One Response to “Myanmar says it will refuse entry to U.N. investigators probing Rohingya abuses”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Burma is one of the biggest violators of human rights and should be punished. Their horrible culture took twist and turns over the decades since the British left.
    I am speaking from my experience where as a child, was in and out of a Burmese monastery in SL where in the same monastery that kind Burmese monk in charge had a very multicultural and multi religious set up in his own premises.He gave his garage to a Muslim(Rohinga) who eventually married a Sinhalese girl from Polgahwala.
    One of the Buddhist helpers were saying much about the Karan tribes and then the Christians living among them(60s).The monk too showed his concern about the increasing numbers of Buddhist monks that was put in prison for just speaking for the humble people(70s).Dictatorial and utterly corrupt civilian rule was replaced by the ruthless military who seem to have had the biggest prison in the country.Ang sun was a such an victim. Military made a city for them selves at the expense of the people. Only people who was creating wealth was the Muslims traders, and other business owners, while the Buddhists were taking a back seat in the country which was their own fault, according to some Burmese who came to live here as refugees.
    Then the next turn for the ruling Junta was to hire few BBS type monks to go out and create a toxic atmosphere against the minorities where that lead to people like Rohingas were expelled from their shops, lands and even murdered.
    With the best of intentions of Ang sun would ever get that country to be progressive.
    Present monks that speak for themselves and the Junta but not for the people of Burma.
    we in SL may sleep walk into that sad situation. At least Burma will be lucky when the Chinese will walk into that country and make it into another Tibet.
    Religions are lethal and few people exploit it to control and rule people. In all these rouge countries the politicians fool the people with their attachment to a religion and one sign is that they wear the national ambude.
    At this very moment the French are trying to fool the people of places like Congo and Mali by getting their unaccountable leaders to allow them to put their troops to put down the Islamic terrorists but why not tackle the root cause,which is lack of water,food,jobs in those countries?
    See algezeera about the programme about Mali and Timbuktu where a man walked 2 days in the desert to see his baby goat to to the market to feed his family but the goat died before he reached the market.
    Now these vile leaders are trying to shut that TV station.
    We in SL must do everything to unite the communities not divide.During the colonial times there was much unity where like of Mohideen Begg and Catholic Sunil shanti sang very good Buddhist songs. Even the Tamil directors of cinema made many Sinhalese films. We must bring that era back. Those who advocate Sinhala Buddhist culture in a divisive way are as bad as the former separatists. By the way our crooked leaders decimated our Sinhalese commercial and business ventures, starting with our Mathara based dry fish shops,our boomi puthra lands with land reform act,likes of Cylinco etc.We Sinhalese is our own enemies. No time to correct this as I am very busy.

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