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FORUM-ASIA welcomes new Myanmar Special Rapporteur

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The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to congratulate Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana on his recent appointment as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

11 April 2008 

Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nation
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Quintana,

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

FORUM-ASIA is a membership-based regional human rights organisation based in Bangkok, Thailand, committed to the promotion and protection of human rights in Asia. We have 40 member organisations in 15 countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia. FORUM-ASIA has 14 members in five South Asia countries, 21 members in seven Southeast Asia countries, and five members in Northeast Asia.

The human rights situation in Burma has always been the focus of FORUM-ASIA. During the establishment of the organisation in 1994, the country programme including the situation in Burma has been our main concern, along with the situation in Timor Leste, Aceh and Cambodia. One of our newest members is a national NGO focusing on Burma, the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB).

We have been working closely with the previous mandate holders on Burma and transmitting information regarding human rights violations regularly. Last year, FORUM-ASIA was involved in mobilising the NGOs’ support in calling for a UN Special Session and made an intervention calling for a full-fledged fact-finding mission and the presence of the UN human rights team in the country. We do hope that we can harness this communication in your term.
Along with this letter, we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our call in the 7th Human Rights Council for the mandate holder to gear toward:

a) Critically engaging the SPDC to fulfil its human rights duties and obligations to the people of Burma;
b) Leading a full-fledged fact-finding mission of various mandates relevant to the situation, and establishing a field presence of the OHCHR in Burma;
c) Ensuring that the scheduled constitutional referendum in May 2008 and subsequent elections in 2010 be inclusive processes and consistent with international standards, and that provide the basis for genuine national reconciliation and democratic transition in Burma;
d) Seeking effective cooperation from the international community, particularly on the role of business in protecting and promoting human rights in Burma;
e) Visiting ethnic nationality areas in the country, where the most grievous human rights violations are taking place.

We are very much looking forward to future cooperation with you in bringing about the betterment of the rights of the people in Burma. Should you have any further inquiries, please contact Ms. Yuyun Wahyuningrum, East Asia Programme Manager, on +66 87 991 4451, [email protected]

Sincerely yours,




Anselmo Lee
Executive Director