‘RIGHTS COUN­CIL LACKS AP­PETITE FOR PROBE’

Dif­fer­ence of opin­ion dis­ap­point­ing, says UN rights ex­pert

New Straits Times - - World -

GENEVA rights abuses in Myan­mar.

“I am afraid that I have been a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed be­cause I don’t think there is an ap­petite or a push for a Com­mis­sion of In­quiry from the nor­mal spon­sors of the res­o­lu­tion” and by coun­tries that are the “nor­mal play­ers” in calls for such in­ves­tiga­tive bod­ies,” Lee said.

She said a do­mes­tic in­ves­tiga­tive panel fo­cus­ing on Rakhine State was “flawed” and an­other led by for­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral Kofi An­nan, didn’t have an all-en­com­pass­ing man­date.

Lee has been de­nied ac­cess to parts of Myan­mar that she hoped to visit, and ex­pressed con­cern about vi­o­lence af­fect­ing civil­ians in Kachin and Shan states.

Based, in part, on her 12-day trip to Myan­mar in Jan­uary, a 25page re­port is­sued by her of­fice this month cited “con­tin­ued and es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence” in those and other states. The re­port also said Lee had been told “the sit­u­a­tion is cur­rently worse than at any point in the past few years”.

Myan­mar’s mil­i­tary, un­der in­ter­na­tional pres­sure over al­leged abuses against the Rohingya mi­nor­ity, has said of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tions failed to sub­stan­ti­ate most ac­cu­sa­tions.

Lee ap­pealed to the Myan­mar gov­ern­ment to let in­ves­ti­ga­tors like her “leave no stones un­turned”.

“If these al­le­ga­tions are true, I think Myan­mar needs to know be­cause this will be the ob­sta­cle to them fully trans­form­ing into a fully demo­cratic so­ci­ety.”

The es­ti­mated one mil­lion Rohingya in Myan­mar face of­fi­cial and so­cial dis­crim­i­na­tion, and are seen as il­le­gal im­mi­grants from Bangladesh. AP

AFP PIC

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