Lower House Deputy Speaker objects to emergency item on Rakhine issue submitted by eight OIC members

Soe Min Htaik + Sithu

T Khun Myat, Deputy Speaker of Lower House, reported to the seventh regular session of the second Union Parliament held in Nay Pyi Taw on March 12 on his Myanmar delegation’s objection to the paragraph mentioned textbook example of ethnic cleansing included in an emergency item collectively submitted by eight member countries of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the decisions on citizenship right to be given to Bengali Muslims.

T Khun Myat continued to read out the report of Myanmar parliamentarian delegation attended the 137th IPU Assembly held in Russia during October in 2017.

“The assembly decided three emergency items submitted by OIC members through voting system on October 15. Two thirds of OIC member countries present at the assembly supported to the proposal. For that reason, the assembly decided to discuss the emergency item. On October 16, 12 member countries participated in the discussions regarding the emergency item. Most of the member countries regarded Rakhine issue as an act of violence. They demanded that humanitarian organizations be allowed to visiting the conflict areas and right groups should protect the victims. On October 17, the emergency item was approved as a decision. Anyhow, Myanmar delegation strongly objected to the approval of the assembly and dissociated itself from any decision by the assembly,” said T Khun Myat.

Myanmar wants to make clear that the terms of ethnic cleansing, fact-finding team and safe zone are very different from real ground situations. Under the pretext of humanitarian ground, fueling the situation cannot solve the problem. Myanmar delegation recognizes humanitarian assistance of international community, but we need more time so as to address the situation taking place in Rakhine State. Myanmar delegation turned down the topics included in the decisions, said T Khun Myat.

The Article 7 of IPU Statutes states that it is the duty of the Members of the IPU to submit the resolutions of the IPU within their respective Parliament, in the most appropriate form; to communicate them to the Government; to stimulate their implementation and to inform the IPU Secretariat, as often and fully as possible, particularly in its annual reports, of the steps taken and the results obtained. To this end, all heads of delegations to IPU Assemblies should submit in accordance with national laws a report to their national parliaments with a copy to the IPU Secretary General as soon as possible following the closure of the Assembly.

Every IPU assembly usually discusses an emergency item as to international issues already included in the agenda. Before the 137th IPU Assembly, member countries have to send their emergency items. We found eight member countries—Morocco, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Iran, Sudan and Turkey submitted their emergency items on Rakhine issue. But Myanmar delegation had a chance of clarifying the real situations in Rakhine State on the occasion and managed to submit a counter-emergency item on Rakhine State. A total of 18 emergency items were primarily submitted to the assembly and finally only eight emergency items were left for discussions before the assembly. At the last stage of emergency item assessment, only three emergency items from Myanmar, OIC members, and Japan and Mexico, were left for discussions at the assembly, T Khun Myat said.

Myanmar became a member of the IPU in 2012. Myanmar delegation was invited by chairmen from the parliament of Russia and the International Parliament to attend the 137th IPU Assembly and related meetings. 

Translated by Win Htut