Govt Reiterates Rejection of UN Fact-Finding Mission

By Htet Naing Zaw 31 May 2017

NAYPYIDAW — Burma’s government will not accept members of a UN fact-finding mission appointed on Tuesday to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Arakan, Kachin, and Shan states, confirmed government spokesperson U Zaw Htay.

“[The mission members] will proceed according to their resolution, we will stand according to our statement released on March 24,” said U Zaw Htay, referring to Burma’s rejection of the UN’s resolution to form the mission at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in March.

“We need the final report of Kofi Annan’s commission,” he said, referring to the Arakan State Advisory Commission headed by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan assigned by State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi last year, due to release a final report in August.

“We’ll cooperate when [the commission report] comes out. And we will also take actions according to the report of the commission chaired by Vice President U Myint Swe,” said U Zaw Htay.

The fact-finding mission is scheduled to present an update to the Human Rights Council at its 36th session in September this year and a full report at its 37th session in March 2018.

Burma’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi—also chairperson of the Central Committee for Implementation of Peace and Development in Arakan State—reiterated she would only listen to the recommendations of the Kofi Annan-led commission and that recommendations from any other individual or group may further fuel tensions between communities in Arakan State.

“Why do they need to come? We have not released false information. This is an internal issue of a sovereign country. The UN has no reason at all to form a fact-finding mission,” the administrator of Maungdaw District told The Irrawaddy.

The three-member mission comprises Indira Jaising of India, Radhika Coomaraswamy of Sri Lanka and Christopher Dominic Sidoti of Australia with Jaising serving as the chair.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko