» 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.
I, Ashin Pannasiri, dissident monk escaped from Burmese prison
Arrested in October of 2007 at an internet cafe, he got away last September 16 and was taken in by some friends in India. He recounts the torture and "physical and psychological" violence he suffered in prison. From New Delhi, the "struggle for freedom and peace in Burma" will continue.
Burmese Catholics to Pope: at Christmas, remember our people in your prayers
AsiaNews publishes the appeal by some Catholics in Myanmar to Benedict XVI. The fear that the world might forget the sufferings of their country is also present in the testimonies of some Buddhist refugees gathered in Thailand: the systematic cruelty of the military regime, the disarray of health care, the destruction of the education system, and the massive exploitation of resources and manual labour on the part of great powers like China have brought the country to its knees, and it is losing any hope for change.
Mosque shuttered, prayer ban on Rohingya during Ramadan in Myanmar
During the Muslim month of fasting, mosques were sealed off. Not even for the festivity of Eid ul-Fitr were they reopened. Burmese Muslims and activists complain that pressure is being put on Muslims to leave the country. Human Rights watch calls it "state-sponsored persecution".
Struggle for Democracy, Burmese monk risks expulsion from the order
Ashin Pyinna Thiha branded as "disobedient" by the official committee close to the Burmese government. He supported the opposition movement, organized meetings and discussions, called for "national unity". Yesterday 300 supporters demonstrated outside the gates of the place of worship.
Yangon, freed only a month ago, leader of the Saffron Revolution arrested
Burmese Ashin Gambira in prison serving a sentence of 68 years. Since release, he violated the terms of probation, breaking the seals of three monasteries closed by the authorities.
CHINA – VATICAN
Old guard and illegitimate bishops dominate the new Catholic Assembly
Ma Yinglin and Fang Xingyao are re-elected presidents of the Bishops Council and the Patriotic Association, respectively. The principles of independence, autonomy, self-management and sinicisation are extolled. There is no "positive signal" as hoped by the Vatican.
CHINA - VATICAN
Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives extolls "independence and autonomy"
59 bishops present at assembly, as well as the state administration for religious affairs director and members of the United Front. Future changes in the leadership of the Council of Bishops and the Patriotic Association. Extolling of autonomy (from the Holy See), a non-positive sign. The Global Times reiterates preconditions for dialogue. A state church. The criticism of Card. Joseph Zen and Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace. One Catholic: This assembly is a slap in the face to the Vatican.
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