06/22/2018, 19.26
MYANMAR
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For Aung San Suu Kyi, ‘narratives of hate’ divide Myanmar

by Lawrence Jangma Gam

"Patience and time are required to restore trust between the communities,” says the democratic leader. UN special envoy visits Rakhine State, meets victims of violence. Buddhist leaders reject the number of Muslim refugees. Myanmar lacks “credibility or impartiality”, says High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Yangon (AsiaNews) – “’Hate narratives’ from abroad have driven communities in Myanmar further apart,” says Myanmar democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured) in a statement published today on social media.

Suu Kyi, who is State Counsellor, reminded Christine Schraner Burgener, UN special envoy to Myanmar, that "Patience and time are required to restore trust between the communities ".

The UN official recently visited the Hla-Hpo-Khaung camp in Rakhine State, which caters to displaced people returning from Bangladesh.

Returnees have complained to her of the difficult conditions in the camps where they have been living for more than six years. They told her about being unable to leave the camp because of restrictions imposed by the security forces.

In Maung Taw district administration office, Burgener met with representatives of Hindu and Muslim communities, as well as survivors of ethnic violence that broke out last August.

During her stay, she met with returnees, government officials, political parties and members of civil society groups. She is set to travel to Naypyidaw to open a UN representative office.

In Rakhine State last Sunday (June 17), the special envoy met the chief minister, but no official statement was released and nothing was said about what was discussed.

Burgener also held talks with representatives of the Arakan National Party (ANP), which represents the state’s majority Buddhist population.

They told her that they cannot accept the refugee population figures provided by Bangladesh and international organisations. The latter say that more than 700,000 Rohingya fled but ANP claims that only 350,000 people left 13 townships in Rakhine State.

On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticised Myanmar for not meeting minimal standards in investigating or persecuting those engaged in Human rights violation.

“Although Myanmar has stated that it will investigate allegations and prosecute alleged perpetrators, its actions to date have not met minimal standards of credibility or impartiality,” Hussein said in the opening statement of the 38th session of Human Rights Council.

The commissioner cited clear indication of systematic attacks against Muslims in Rakhine, "amounting possibly to acts of genocide”.

Meanwhile, conflict in Kachin and Shan is escalating. The UN had organised a fact-finding mission to these states but Myanmar authorities refused to grant entry visas to the members of the team.

This month, Myanmar and UN agencies signed a framework agreement on the return of refugees.

The government’s Human Rights commission has investigated some cases in Rakhine but has not focused on systematic human rights violations; instead, it has looked into an official security staff member.

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