History, not the UN, will be final judge on Rakhine

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  • The terrorist attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in Rakhine State in August 2017 abruptly changed the state of affairs in northern Rakhine and made restoration of law and order a priority, which led to the displacement of people internally in Rakhine State and across the border.
    Since then, there have been misleading, presumptuous and uninformed accusations against Myanmar.
    The latest of these accusations is that authorities were bulldozing the ground to build military installations on sites that once were the homes of members of the Muslim community in northern Rakhine.
    In reality, the authorities are preparing to construct new structures for returnees  as part of the repatriation process.
    “What the government does should not be viewed with a preconceived mind and doubtful eyes”, U Htin Lynn, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN in Geneva, told the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council currently meeting in Geneva.
    Instead of criticism, the Permanent Representative said he hoped for support.
    “Myanmar hopes that the international community will constructively contribute to our efforts to advance the democratization process and promote and protect human rights in line with the country’s circumstances and needs”, U Htin Lynn said.
    The passage of time may be the only way to cut through the rancor and clear the fog of misinformation surrounding the real truth behind what is happening in northern Rakhine.
    History, not the United Nations, will be the ultimate judge of what has occurred in Rakhine State.
    With regard to alleged human rights violations, the government shall never condone impunity and action will be taken against any perpetrators in accordance with the law if there is concrete evidence. Myanmar strongly objects the use of such words as ethnic cleansing and genocide in reference to the situation in Rakhine State. Myanmar would welcome the international community to play a constructive role in relation to Rakhine State and sought their understanding on the complexity and their support for the government efforts in finding a durable solution. Taking non-constructive measures would be counterproductive, as it will further polarize the communities and undermine the efforts for the long-term objective of reconciliation.
    Many ethnic groups, including Rakhine, Daing-net, Mro, Thet, Mramagyi and those belonging to Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu faiths have remained in their villages, as witnessed by members of the diplomatic corps and UN agencies their recent visits.
    It is unreasonable to assert that the Myanmar leadership, whose mission has human rights at its core, remains indifferent to the allegations of grave human rights violations. The leadership and the government shall never tolerate such crimes. Myanmar is ready to take action when there is clear evidence.
    Myanmar is facing the most challenging time in its history of transition, but the Union Government will turn these challenges into opportunities for national reconciliation and peace leading to further strengthening of democracy. The Myanmar government has expressed its belief that the success of democratic transition will overcome these challenges.
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