The 39th Session of the Human Rights Council held interactive dialogue with Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar on 18 September 2018 from 0900 hours to 1200 hours at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
During the interactive dialogue, Permanent Representative of Myanmar, Ambassador U Kyaw Moe Tun delivered a statement responding the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission of Human Rights Council on Myanmar. Some salient points of his statement are as follows:
- It has always been the cornerstone of Myanmar’s foreign policy to cooperate with the United Nations. However, Myanmar delegation has rejected the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar since its establishment by the Human Rights Council in March 2017, as it will not contribute to our efforts to bring national reconciliation, peace, and inclusive and sustainable development in Rakhine State.
- The Government has therefore made it clear that it would not be able to accept its mandate and the results of its findings.
- Its establishment, composition and mandate, raised serious and genuine concerns that it would lack impartiality and hinder the Government’s own efforts to find long-term solutions to the situation in Rakine State.
- The one-sided Report of the FFM has only served to strengthen the Government’s concerns. Not only is this report detrimental to social cohesion in Rakhine State, it also undermines the Government’s efforts to bring peace, national reconciliation and development to the entire nation.
- There are many obvious reasons to question the impartiality and objectivity of the FFM’s report.
- The way the report portrayed about the national races of Myanmar is misleading. Instead of encouraging integration, the report seems encouraging disunity of the nation dividing between national races.
- The methodology of their investigation is also flawed as their Report was prepared based on results of interviewing selected groups of displaced persons in Cox’s Bazaar and information gathered from some NGOs, INGOs and human rights group.
- They did not bother to interview even non-Muslims displaced persons staying in Cox’s Bazaar.
- Their accusations are based on the stories told by those alleged victims living under continuous threat and influence of ARSA terror group and not supported by concrete evidence.
- Regardless of the lack of balance, impartiality and fairness, the Government of Myanmar takes the allegations of human rights violations seriously. The Government will not condone human rights violation.
- The Government established the independent Commission of Enquiry. The Commission is tasked to investigate allegations of human rights violations and related issues following the terrorist attacks with a view to seeking accountability and reconciliation, and to formulate recommendations on steps to be taken to ensure peace and stability in Rakhine State.
- We share deep sympathy and concern for all displaced persons especially women and girls.
- The government pays high priority to the repatriation. With regard to repatriation, no one needs to give pressure on Myanmar. We are ready to receive the verified displaced persons.
- But we need the cooperation of Bangladesh to send back those wishing to return.
- We also recognize the crucial role of the United Nations in addressing an issue of this nature. The government of Myanmar also signed with UNDP and UNHCR an MOU that aims at assisting speedy and efficient resettlement and rehabilitation.
- The implementation of the MOU has been commenced and the UN teams are now on ground making first phase of their assessment.
- The report pointed out that the trained leaders and untrained villagers involved in the terrorist attacks of ARSA.
- No country can condone terrorism under any form and any circumstance. The provocative terrorist attacks of October 2016 and August 2017 have affected the course of our earnest endeavor to build a peaceful, fair and prosperous future for all people in Rakhine State.
- The report is based on one-sided perception of Myanmar history without consulting any of the many studies about the history of the conflict.
- The FFM under tremendous pressure reported the information they wanted to believe and jumped to a dangerous conclusion that could derail the democratization processes.
- This is critical juncture for Myanmar in its journey towards a peaceful, prosperous democratic federal union.
- We strongly object any attempt to make disunity of the country. We are resolute to achieve our goal of creating a strong democratic federal union.
- Non-constructive measures and retributive actions will only lead to further polarization of the communities, even worsen the situation we wish to resolve and will do nothing but impose greater impediment to our serious efforts to speedy repatriation of the displaced persons. What we should do now is to focus on solving the humanitarian situation.