Myanmar junta slams UN's 'one-sided' claims on human rights | World News - Hindustan Times

Myanmar junta slams UN's 'one-sided' claims on human rights

Apr 09, 2024 11:56 PM IST

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since the military seized power in February 2021

Myanmar's junta on Tuesday slammed the UN's "one-sided allegations" about its human rights record and said it had received no official communication regarding the recent appointment of a new special envoy to the conflict-torn country.

Myanmar's junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing(REUTERS)
Myanmar's junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing(REUTERS)

The Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil since the military seized power in February 2021, ending a brief democratic experiment and sparking clashes with ethnic rebel groups and anti-coup fighters.

The junta has reacted with fury to attempts by the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc to establish dialogue between it and its opponents, whom it has vowed to "annihilate".

Last week the United Nations rights council adopted a resolution slamming "horrific and systematic human rights violations" in Myanmar.

It also criticised the junta's "stranglehold" on humanitarian assistance, which it said was exacerbating a crisis that has displaced more than 2.5 million people.

That resolution "included unfounded and one-sided allegations," the junta's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement published in the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

"Therefore, Myanmar categorically rejects the resolution."

The statement also said the United Nations had made "no official communication to Myanmar" regarding last week's appointment of a new UN special envoy to the country, former Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that, as the appointment was made through a General Assembly resolution, it "doesn't follow the same consultative processes as Security Council resolutions."

"I think the official announcement that we put out on Friday is an official announcement. So we informed everybody that the appointment had been made," spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

The position of UN special envoy to Myanmar has been vacant since the departure of Noeleen Heyzer in June 2023. The Singaporean sociologist had been tasked with urging the military to engage in political dialogue with opposing groups and end a bloody crackdown it launched after toppling the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Heyzer visited Myanmar in 2022 and met junta chief Min Aung Hlaing and other top military officials, in a move criticised by rights groups as lending legitimacy to the generals.

But she was denied a meeting with detained democracy figurehead Suu Kyi and later irked junta officials, who accused her of issuing a "one-sided statement" of what had been discussed.

She later vowed not to visit the country again unless she was allowed to meet Suu Kyi, who is currently serving a 27-year jail sentence handed down by a closed-door junta court.

Myanmar's UN envoy Kyaw Moe Tun was appointed by Suu Kyi's government and has refused to leave his post despite the junta's insistence that he no longer represents the country.

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