Govt Rejects Call for Int’l Investigation Into Alleged Rohingya Killings

Myanmar, Rohingya, inter-communal violence, human rights, Muslim, Buddhist, religious conflict, US government

Police stand guard in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, in this June 2012 photo, after communal violence saw houses torched and residents driven from their homes. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — Burma has publicly rejected calls by the US government for the involvement of international officials in an investigation into the alleged massacre of dozens of Rohingya Muslim villagers in Arakan State’s Maungdaw District.

On Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wunna Maung Lwin and Ministry of Information officials briefed foreign diplomats, UN officials and news media about the incident in Du Chee Yar Tan village two weeks ago.

The officials repeated earlier government statements denying that any Rohingyas were killed in the village, and said that only a policeman had gone missing after being attacked by local Muslim villagers.

US Ambassador Derek Mitchell suggested during the briefing that the government set up an independent investigation commission that includes international officials to investigate the incident.

Burmese officials, however, said the government would continue with its plan to let the Myanmar Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and the Rakhine Investigation Commission investigate the events in southern Maungdaw Township. The latter commission already visited the village on Jan. 22 to 26, but said it found no evidence of the killing of any civilians.

Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut explained the discussion with the US Ambassador after the briefing.

“The diplomat said that they could not trust our government investigation. The diplomat asked us to let international investigators cooperate with our government for an investigation,” he told The Irrawaddy.

“Our government replied to the diplomat that this current issue is a domestic issue. We already have our own independent investigation commission; we don’t need an international investigation.”

“We will share all our information after our investigation is completed,” Ye Htut said, adding that European Union officials and other diplomats would be allowed to inspect Du Chee Yar Tan village soon.

The government has been angered by reports made by human rights groups and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that suggest that at least 48 Rohingya villagers were killed by the police and an Arakanese Buddhist mob between Jan. 9-13. Most of the victims reportedly died in an apparent retaliation for the disappearance of a police officer.

Medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which works in northern Arakan State, said on Friday that it had treated 22 Rohingyas who were injured during the incident.

The government has also lashed out at media organizations for their coverage of the alleged massacre and state-run newspapers singled out the Associated Press and The Irrawaddy for criticism. On Tuesday, reporters of The Irrawaddy, Associated Press, Voice of America, The Myanmar Times, Mizzima and other media were denied access to the briefing.

Ye Htut criticized the UN reports of the alleged killings and news organizations that had written about the incident.

“The UN and international news organizations reported about the death of people in the village from [sources in] the village. They should bring evidence to us for investigation,” he said. “We will take action against anyone who violated the law. We did not protect only one side. We protect two sides in order to have peace in the community.”

On Friday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry warned that any international aid organization or media group that releases information that is not verified by government officials would be considered as “interfering in internal affairs.”

The Associated Press’ Senior Managing Editor for International News John Daniszweki said on Monday that the agency had been surprised by the government’s reaction “because we felt that our reporting was accurate and hewed closely to the facts.”

Daniszweki said the agency hoped to continue discussions with the government about its reporting in Burma, but added that it would be impossible to comply with the ministry’s directive. “If we only reported information verified by governments, there would be no reason for an independent press,” he wrote in an email.

Inter-communal violence between Arakanese Buddhists and stateless Rohingya Muslims has broken out sporadically in Arakan State since mid-2012, leading to scores dead and at least 140,000 displaced, mostly Muslims.

International human rights have accused the central government and regional authorities of offering tacit support for the Arakanese Buddhists during the conflict, while security forces deployed in the region have been accused of committing widespread rights abuses against the Rohingya minority.

11 Responses to Govt Rejects Call for Int’l Investigation Into Alleged Rohingya Killings

  1. Representatives from UN must be allowed to investigate. Lips service from USDP must not be trusted by international community. USDP and Rohingya people must be relocated to Jupiter where two crooked groups stay for good away from other human beings.

  2. We want to know whether International bodies are fair if they just want to know about the so called Rohingers. Why they are not interested missing of a police man who is a local Burmese and an authorized person.

    Do they allow this in their lands to be insulted by people who migrated without any Identity card? Why are you so one sided ?

    You should change your immigration laws to accept these displaced people whom Burmese government is unable to sort out for various reasons. International bodies are supposed to diffuse the situation rather than fuel the fire. You did not help them to accept. You should respect gov: of Myanmar and local people for accepting them for many years.

    Those so-called Rohingers who are outside Myanmar must realize that you got the education free from their own Myanmar gov: and serving to other people fueling the fire when you enough food and energy to destroy your mother country.

    Burmese gov: is absolutely correct not to allow any foreign bodies to interfere their own internal affair.

    • Rohingyas don’t need any certificate from international bodies and Regking they are also human being as you are,you must get knowledges about humans rights,No one brings the land with his birth time “every one has the right of citizenship wherever he get birth as u r.

      This is not a matter of interesting,just the matter of justice and human rights,disappearance of one person could not be caused of killing of score innocent humans,if the locals and authorized are allowed to kill any humans being

      Did u see any such incident in their lands although there so many Reking living in other countries including bangladesh certainly they have all rights including the citizenship.

      you must follow the Buddah’s teaching and increase human rights knowledges.

  3. So majority of news media are biased for Rohingya cause. Only we should trust Governmentreports. Did they ever confess for killing of innocent people. Not only Rohigya, monks, students and rape cases in ethnic areas. From this report it is clear that no outside body is trusting Burmese Government mouth piece. What a “SHAME”. Burmese Government will do investigation by their human right groups and Rakhine state group. Why not give the assignment to the killers who killed. What’s the different

  4. When thousands of students and monks were killed, everybody requested to international media to expose Burmese Government crimes. But now tune change. World bodies should not interfere in internal matter. All member of 888 group’s prisoners were released at the request and pressure from UN, NGO and other Human Right Groups. How selfish people are?

  5. As the World know, Burma has a long history of human rights abuse; one does not change over night. Whether it’s the US or the UN-the alleged massacre of dozens of ethnic Rohingya needs to be investigated. In the absence of these killings the world will learn to accept the Burmese governments proclamation of innocence.

    • Patrick, the problem is former illegal Bengali migrants so called Rohingya group now base in overseas.
      Western Governments know about what they are doing and they are under the radar of Western Governments.
      No one has believed their fabricated story. Only some sleazy journalists are distributing fabricated story and pictures from so called Rohingya group in Thailand and Malaysia.

      There’s no massacre and ethnic cleansing on illegal Bengali migrants in Rakhine state. All problems were started by illegal Bengali migrant peoples. They do not know how to behave and live as guest in other peoples’ home.

      These Bengali peoples sneaking into Rakhine state illegally and now they are claiming Rakhine state belongs to them. They created many stories to prove so called the Rohingyas peoples were living in Rakhine state before Rakhine peoples settled in this land. There’s no evidence and no record of so called Rohingya live in Rakhine state.
      British Colony Government’s record dose not has name with Rohingya ethnic in Rakhine state or somewhere else in Burma. British Colony Government had recorded a few thousands of Bengali laborers were imported to Rakhine state as farm worker.

      The Bengali peoples should go back to Bangladesh and stop lying to the world with fabricated news and story. Those illegal Bengali migrants in Burma are damaging our country image and reputation.

      Bengali peoples are belonging to Bangladesh or India. Bangladeshi Government must repatriate its citizens from Burma.

      • Dear Sai L Kan,
        They are Rohingyas and they have over 1000 years history in that area.They have evidence and can prove it.My suggestion is to remap the country or Rohingya should start the armed resistance if the people of Myanmar don’t want to live with them.No other country is responsible for Rohingya’s issue.
        I don’t know you but your name is not Burmese. Are you working for Burmese government? You need to understand, the Rohingyas are human like you do.

  6. Arakan authority has license to kill Muslims within Arakan is not criminal, but it is groos violation of international laws and justice.

  7. It is regrettable that the Myanmar govt is trying to cover up the actual truth of the Police massacre of 40+ innocent defenseless Rohingyas in Du Chee Yar Tan massacre in Maungdaw. This is the revival of Adolf Eichmann’s gas chamber, and the massacre of Sebernica in Bosnia under the eyes of the UN, and the killing fields of the Pol Pot’s Cambodia. It is a slow motion genocide of the Myanmar govt against the most persecuted minorities of the world- the Rohingyas that the UN has declared. And the Myanmar govt is fully accountable and it is trying to play a mouse and cat game with the international community. If it deems itself to be fair and unbiased it should comply with the US govt’s call on Naypyitaw to set up an independent team that includes at least one international expert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.