‘RIGHTS COUNCIL LACKS APPETITE FOR PROBE’
Difference of opinion disappointing, says UN rights expert
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
Dead mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia’s remote north.