An Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar was held on 2-7-2019 during the 41st Session of Human Rights Council from 24-6-2019 to 12-7-2019 in Geneva.
An oral update was made by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar at the Interactive Dialogue.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s statement, Permanent Representative of Myanmar U Kyaw Moe Tun made a statement as a concerned country. In his statement, Permanent Representative highlighted that the democratically elected civilian government has spared no effort in nurturing democratic norms and practices, strengthening democratic institutions and rule of law and pursuing peace process.
The Government fully acknowledges the remaining challenges to overcome and the need for continued endeavours. He pointed out that those who are living through the transition in Myanmar enjoy the widening democratic space and view the progress differently from those who observe it from the outside. “In Myanmar, the voices of people from all walks of life and every part of the region are heard at the highest level”, he stated. Speaking about the freedom of expression and media, high penetration of mobile phone, internet and social media as among the most visible areas of change in Myanmar, he emphasized the need to strike a balance between “Security and Freedom”, “Rights and Responsibilities”.
With regard to the issue in Rakhine State, Permanent Representative explained that the current Government is fully aware of its primary responsibility and has placed the issue as upmost priority since day-one. He underlined that, alongside the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations, the work of the Independent Commission of Enquiry is important guiding light for the resolution and that Myanmar is taking “holistic and inclusive approach for finding sustainable solution”. He expressed deep sympathy and concern for displaced persons from all communities and reiterated Myanmar’s readiness to receive the verified returnees since 23 January 2018, as agreed in the bilateral Arrangements. He also emphasized the urgent need to commence expeditious repatriation. “Anyone should not turn a blind eye on Myanmar’s genuine and concerted efforts for enabling the repatriation,” he called on the Council.
He invited all to join hand with Myanmar in a constructive manner to find a sustainable solution “instead of naming, shaming and pressuring the country based on groundless allegation.” He also repeated his question to the Special Rapporteur that she failed to respond in the previous interactive dialogue held on 11 March 2019 if she was aware of the displaced persons in the camps in Cox’s Bazar including 444 Hindus who repeatedly expressed their desire to return Rakhine and reminded her that “the work of the Special Rapporteur should be impartial and not be selective.”
He stressed the importance of the ability of the Special Rapporteur to look at the problem objectively and impartially, to analyse it correctly, to find the right answer, and to assist and support in the constructive way for promotion and protection of human rights in a concerned country. He also said that the country’s particular circumstances including the perspectives of people and their government, unique historical and cultural backgrounds, constraints, as well as challenges and complexities should not be neglected.
He reiterated Myanmar’s willingness to extend cooperation with the relevant UN mechanisms including with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General.
As it is a critical juncture for Myanmar in its journey towards a democratic federal union, the Permanent Representative affirmed that Myanmar will not tolerate any non-constructive measures and retributive actions that can lead to disunity of its people and infringement of sovereignty and territorial integrity in promotion and protection of human rights.
He concluded by saying that Myanmar’s democracy “is young and still yet incomplete” and it looks to friends the world over to support Myanmar in a constructive way to move its journey forward.—MNA