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UN support still necessary in improving Burmese rights scenario: Amnesty International

UN support still necessary in improving Burmese rights scenario: Amnesty International
February 22
12:31 2016

As Burma (Myanmar) is going to have a new government at NayPieTaw by next few weeks with more non-military Parliamentarians, expectation for improving human rights across the south-east Asian country has been emerged. However, an international rights body cautioned that quasi-democratic nation still needs the supports from UN Human Rights Council.

“When it assumes power at the beginning of April 2016, Myanmar’s new government will be confronted with a wide range of human rights challenges, and it is unclear, at this stage, what capacity it will have to address them. The Council’s attention on the human rights situation in Myanmar is still necessary to ensure the new government receives the support it needs to fulfill its international human rights obligations and commitments,” said Amnesty International (AI).

An AI statement, issued recently by Laura Haigh, also added that the new NayPieTaw administration would need to take swift action to address discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, in particular the persecuted Rohingya and other Muslims.

“Furthermore, the growing influence of radical groups promoting hate speech must be eliminated. The government will also have to take steps to end human rights violations and abuses in areas of armed conflict,tackle the systemic and structural issues that allow for politically motivated arrests & imprisonment and address the human rights & environmental impacts on individuals & communities resulting from large-scale investment & infrastructure projects,” added the statement.

Another significant challenge is apprehended to be the negotiation process with the military elements, which still retains significant political and economic power. The military holds a legislative veto over constitutional changes and it has the overall control of key ministries and departments like home affairs, border and defence, which are crucial in protecting human rights. Without control over these keys ministries it is unclear to what extent the new government will be able to deliver human rights reforms, asserted the rights body.

“The protracted human rights crisis in Arakan (Rakhine) State has further deteriorated in the past year. Following the decision by President Thein Sein to revoke all temporary registration cards (popularly known as white cards), the majority of the Rohingya have been left without any form of identity document,” said  the AI adding that it found, along with other independent human rights organizations, that many of the Rohingya were prevented from voting in the recent elections.

“The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has still not yet been able to establish a country office in Myanmar. While several concerned staff are able to work in Myanmar, Amnesty International is concerned that they do not have full and sustained access to all parts of the country. The establishment of an OHCHR office, with a full protection and promotion mandate and access to all areas of the country, is crucial to ensure monitoring of the human rights situation in Myanmar,” insisted the AI statement.

Source: REVIEW Nepal



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