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HRC41 Oral Statement on Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

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41st Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

Oral Statement Delivered by Khin Ohmar

On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Mr. President, FORUM-ASIA welcomes the oral update by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. We appreciate her consistent efforts to draw attention to the grave human rights situation in Myanmar and to call for justice and accountability.

We are gravely concerned at the escalation of the armed conflict in Rakhine State, and its impact on ethnic Rakhine, Chin and other minorities in the region. The government’s shut down of mobile data networks in Rakhine and Chin States amid serious allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations including indiscriminate shelling, torture and extrajudicial killings adds to our concerns. Complete internet blackout along with continuing restrictions on media and humanitarian access to conflict affected areas are deliberate attempts by the government to hide the gravity of the violations being committed against civilians. We call on the government to immediately restore internet access in Rakhine and Chin States, and allow media and humanitarian organisations to independently monitor the situation and deliver aid.

We are concerned at the Myanmar military’s control of the economy which provides Tatmadaw off-budget funding to continue committing gravest international crimes with impunity and support ultranationalist Buddhist groups’ campaigns to incite hatred and violence against minorities. Coordinated international action on military controlled conglomerates are necessary to hold Myanmar military accountable for these crimes. International investors engaged in Myanmar must not be complicit in perpetuating Myanmar military’s crimes against civilians and ethnic minorities. In this regard, we welcome the Fact-Finding Mission’s call on the international community to cut off all financial and other support to Myanmar military.

We echo the Special Rapporteur’s call to expedite the full operationalisation of the independent mechanism established by the Human Rights Council before the end of the mandate of the UN Fact-Finding Mission (FFM). Nearly two years after the genocide, Rohingya community still awaits justice. The international community must act urgently to ensure accountability for genocide in Rakhine State, and crimes against humanity and war crimes in Kachin and Shan States including through referral of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC), or independent tribunal and exercise of universal jurisdiction to hold perpetrators accountable.

Finally, we call on the Council to urgently redress the systematic failures of the UN in Myanmar. Thank you.


For a PDF version of this statement, click here.