Human Rights Council on wrong side of history over Rakhine issue

Perspectives

The Myanmar delegation has rejected the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar since its establishment by the Human Rights Council in March 2017, saying it would not contribute to Myanmar’s efforts to bring national reconciliation, peace, and inclusive and sustainable development in Rakhine State.
The Government has therefore made it clear that it would not be able to accept its mandate and the results of its findings.
There are many obvious reasons to question the impartiality and objectivity of the FFM’s report.
The way the report portrayed about the national races of Myanmar is misleading.
Unilateral criticism or exerting pressure is actually not helpful in resolving the complex issues with historical, religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Again, the report turned a deaf ear to terrorist attacks in Rakhine State.
The danger of terrorist activities, which was the initial cause of events leading to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine, remains real and present today.
Regarding the repatriation of displaced people, we hope to work with Bangladesh to conduct the voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced people from northern Rakhine. Myanmar was ready to receive returnees since Jan 23. But Bangladesh will have to decide how quickly it wants the process to be completed and should take an example from how Myanmar and Thailand are working together to amicably resolve the issue of four million Myanmar migrant workers and displaced people in Thailand.
Myanmar has implemented 81 out of its 88 recommendations taking a pragmatic approach to finding a long-term solution to the Rakhine issue.
But, the challenges are multi-faceted and require multi-tasking.
We also recognize the crucial role of the United Nations in addressing an issue of this nature. The government of Myanmar has also signed an MOU with UNDP and UNHCR that aims at assisting speedy and efficient resettlement and rehabilitation.
The implementation of the MOU has been commenced and the UN teams are now on the ground carrying out the first phase of their assessment.
It is time for the international community to be a part of the Myanmar government’s efforts to solve the Rakhine issue.
No country can replace Myanmar in resolving the Rakhine issue. The Human Rights Council should take Myanmar’s actual situation into consideration, instead of intimidating it.
We established the Independent Commission of Enquiry to make an inquiry into the alleged accusations of human rights violations.
FFM’s report is based on interviews with selected groups of displaced people in Cox’s Bazar and information gathered from some NGOs, INGOs and human right groups. They did not even bother to interview non-Muslims displaced people staying in Cox’s Bazaar.
Their accusations are based on the stories told by those alleged victims living under continuous threat and influence of the ARSA terrorist group and not supported by concrete evidence.
Unless it ends its silence about the appalling crimes against non-Muslim ethnic minorities in Rakhine State, the UN Human Rights Council will be left on the wrong side of history.

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