» 02/04/2015, 00.00
MYANMAR - UN
Myanmar’s junta slams UN over interference in internal affairs
The Burmese government targets the Special Representative Yanghee Lee, who highlighted discrimination against the Rohingya and criticized the law governing marriages and conversions. Foreign Ministry "invites" UN to carry out its work in a "professional and prudent" manner. In recent weeks, the woman was already the subject of abuse by a Buddhist Monk.
Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies)
- Myanmar's government has accused a UN senior
official of "interference" in the internal affairs of the country.
The complaint, made by the Burmese Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, was provoked by statements made by
Yanghee Lee (UN
special representative for Myanmar) during
her visit to the Asian nation last month.
In her speech she stressed the
serious discrimination against the
Muslim minority, a victim of persecution and abuse in the former Burma. The top UN official also expressed strong criticism of the new
law, wanted by nationalist
Buddhist monks, which restricts mixed marriages and freedom of conversion.
Immediately following her visit, a prominent
Buddhist monk- already
famous in the past for his
attacks on religious freedom and
incitement to violence - verbally attacked her. The words of the Buddhist leader provoked a firm reaction from the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein, who has asked
the government in Naypyidaw to
condemn the monk's outburst.
However, in its statement, the foreign
ministry said that some of the concerns Lee had raised did not reflect
"the overall positive aspect of an issue". "Selectivity is often
exercised. On some occasions, interfering on issues which fall within state
sovereignty and domestic jurisdiction is evident", it added. The document concludes with an invitation to the UN representative to carry out her work "in a
professional and prudent"manner, without
any reference to the insults directed
against her by the religious leader.
Since June 2012, the western state of Rakhine has witnessed violent
clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Rohingya causing at least 200 deaths and
250 thousand displaced people. According to United Nations estimates, there are
still 800 thousand members of the Muslim minority in Myanmar, who the
government considers illegal immigrants and who are therefore subject to abuse and persecution.
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