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09th-Nov-2017

Myanmar govt feels `wronged`

By

Desk Report :
The government of Myanmar feels "wronged" over a UN Security Council statement that urged it to "ensure no further excessive use of military force in Rakhine state," where violence has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.
The UN statement also called on Myanmar to rein in its military campaign in Rakhine state and allow the Rohingyas to return their homes.
"We feel  "wronged" over a UN Security Council statement on the Rohingya refugee crisis that reflected international media's perceived bias of the issue," said Myanmar's presidential spokesperson U Zaw Htay in a statement issued on Wednesday, according to The Irrawaddy.
He said, "Even the UN Security Council members have echoed those allegations. What I would like to tell the international community on behalf of the Myanmar government is that we are trying to find a long-term solution for the Rakhine issue."
U Zaw Htay also said the Myanmar government will continue doing what it takes to solve the problem, but would not try to counter the (UN) Presidential Statement because it has already asked the international community to present evidence of the alleged human rights violations and abuses.
The UN statement released on Monday expressed concern over reports of human rights violations and abuses by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State against Rohingya, saying that abuses involved systematic use of force and intimidation, killing of men, women, and children, sexual violence as well as     destruction and burning of homes and property.
International groups such as Human Rights Watch have also documented killings and rape of Rohingya and satellite imagery showing razed villages, while access to northern Rakhine is heavily restricted.
"We don't necessarily have to do as the statement asks. But we have to pay heed to it as it the Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council. We can't ignore it," said U Zaw Htay.
The unanimous statement backed by China also urged the Myanmar government to work with the Bangladeshi government and the UN in order to allow the voluntary return of all refugees to their homes in Myanmar with safety and dignity.
 "When we approach a problem, we need to approach it from various perspectives," said U Zaw Htay. He added that voices represented by international media are louder than other less represented voices on the Rakhine crisis.
While it is solving the crisis, the government also has to handle racial and religious instigation intended to trouble the government, he said. Public trust is a necessary condition for the government to make the country's democratization a success and solve its pressing economic and social problems, he added.
The Myanmar government has invited Bangladeshi foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali to Myanmar from to November 16-18 to discuss the repatriation of refugees, said U Zaw Htay.
"We expect to sign a bilateral agreement when he comes and Myanmar and Bangladesh will continue to cooperate on that," said U Zaw Htay, adding that the Bangladeshi government has not confirmed the date of the visit.