Myanmar Envoy Denies Genocide Against Rohingya Muslims ...

Relations between the Myanmar government and the United Nations have become tenuous since the escalation of violence in northern Rakhine on August 25, after attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on more than two dozen government security outposts in the state and massive retaliation by the military.

Till now, more than six lakh Rohingyas have fled Myanmar and have taken shelter in Bangladesh.

Myanmar's government spokesman Zaw Htay said Lee had been barred because she was not unbiased.

Rohingya Muslims are a religious and linguistic minority in Western Myanmar who are denied citizenship despite ethnic roots in modern-day Rakhine, one of the states in Myanmar.

She was planning to focus on widespread rape and torture by military officials against the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority in the nation's northern Rakhine State - actions the UN and U.S. have labelled as "textbook ethnic cleansing".

Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's less than two-year old civilian government has faced heavy global criticism for its response to the crisis, though it has no control over the generals it has to share power with under Myanmar's transition after decades of military rule.

Maung Maung Soe was in charge of the operation that drove more than 650,000 Rohingya to flee mostly Buddhist Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Yanghee Lee, a United Nations special rapporteur who works with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, was scheduled to visit Myanmar in January to evaluate rights developments, particularly in violence-wracked Rakhine state where the military has carried out a brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

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U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussain said this week that Myanmar leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Gen. Aung Min Hlaing, the head of the army, could be tried for genocide. "But it wouldn't surprise me in the future if a court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see".

The Government has repeatedly denied any violations of human rights. "They beat us all until we were half dead, and then they set the house on fire", she said.

The government said it had banned her because she was "not impartial and objective while conducting her work".

"The principle of human rights is that no one, no organization, can be biased", he said.

"This is meant to help the Government of Myanmar achieve its objective of restoration of normalcy in Rakhine State and enable the return of displaced persons", the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Although Myanmar held a general election in 2015 that ushered in a civilian government led by Suu Kyi, the military that ruled for almost five decades still controls most of the important levers of power.

After decades of oppression, Rohingya Muslims and Hindus have lived in Burma as non-citizens and still have severely restricted access to government services and employment opportunities.

Source :

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