Myanmar UN Rep Objects to UN Chief’s Terms for Rakhine Issue

By The Irrawaddy 14 September 2017

YANGON — Myanmar’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN has objected to the top UN human rights official regarding his choice of words to describe the situation in the country’s restive Rakhine State.

“The terms ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ carry very serious connotations,” complained Myanmar ambassador and permanent representative to the UN U Htin Lynn as he spoke on Tuesday at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva after UN chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein used the terms in his address the previous day.

“They can only be used in the most responsible manner and founded on legal and judicial determinations,” insisted U Htin Lynn.

The UN human rights commissioner on Monday urged Myanmar to end brutal security operations against the self-identifying Rohingya in Rakhine State, calling it “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

“Democratic Myanmar shall never tolerate such atrocities,” said U Htin Lynn, as he raised an objection to those terms on behalf of the Myanmar government.

“Using such terms imprudently without concrete evidence will tarnish the credibility of the office, fan the flames on the ground, widen polarization between relevant communities and mislead the international community,” he said.

As the UN predicts that some 400,000 people have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, U Htin Lynn said they are fleeing out of fear of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army –declared a terrorist organization by the Myanmar government after it attacked 30 police outposts last month – and not because of military security clearance operations.

“ARSA is inciting people to leave their homes by giving them false hope of resettlement in a third country,” he said.

He also reaffirmed the Myanmar government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of Kofi Annan’s Rakhine State Advisory Commission.