History, not UN, will be final judge on Rakhine

History, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations said Monday, will be the ultimate judge of what has occurred in Rakhine State.
U Htin Lynn, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar, said during the Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar that it is “unreasonable to assert that Myanmar leadership, whose mission has human rights at its core, remains indifferent to the allegations of grave human rights violations”.
The dialogue was part of the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council being held in Geneva from 26 February to 23 March. During the dialogue, Ms. Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, presented her report, followed by the oral report of the Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar to the Human Rights Council.
Ms. Lee said actions against members of the Muslim community “bear the hallmarks of genocide”. Marzuki Darusman, chairman of a fact-finding mission on Myanmar, said: “All the information collected by the Fact-Finding Mission so far further points to violence of an extremely cruel nature, including against women”.
In a rebuttal, U Htin Lynn rejected the allegations and called for Ms. Lee to be replaced. Myanmar has received special rapporteurs since 1992, and has facilitated six visits of Ms. Lee to Myanmar.
“The leadership and the government shall never tolerate such crimes. Myanmar is ready to take action when there is clear evidence. Legal action has already been taken against military and police officers and civilians who were found to be in breach of standard operating procedures and rules of engagement following the Inn Din incident”, he said.
U Htin Lynn said the terrorist attacks by the ARSA terrorist group 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 has led to the displacement of people internally in Rakhine State and across the border. The Permanent Representative noted that 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 entities in their recent visits.
But over the past year or so, a paradigm shift has occurred in the perception and attitude toward Myanmar, U Htin Lynn said, the latest of which manifested itself in reports about military installations being built on sites that once were the homes of members of the Muslim community. The Permanent Representative explained that in preparing facilities for repatriation of refugees, bulldozing the ground and building new structures is part of the process.
“What the government does should not be viewed with a preconceived mind and doubtful eyes”, U Htin Lynn said. “Myanmar hopes the the international community will constructively contribute to our efforts to advance the democratisation process and promote and protect human rights in line with the country’s circumstances and needs”.—GNLM

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