Saturday, August 19, 2017

Parliament condemns statement by Yanghee Lee

The parliament on Tuesday approved a proposal to condemn the statement of Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, criticising the country’s human rights record and the government’s failure to address the Rohingya problem.

Thirteen Pyithu Hluttaw MPs, including eight from the ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD), two from the opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), two from the Tatmadaw and one from the Rakhine National Party, voted to condemn Lee’s July 21 statement.

Major Kyaw Zin Moe, a Tatmadaw MP, said “It is disappointing that Yanghee Lee’s statement turned a blind eye to the truth and focused on trivial things.”

U Maung Myint, an USDP MP from Minkin constituency, likened Lee to “an injured tiger that wants to attack anything it sees. She can’t do what she wanted to do. She wasn’t allowed to go where she wanted to go. Her statement was so negative,” he said.

He urged the government to prepare to defend the country when Lee submits her report to the UN General Assembly in October and that all political parties must unite to defend Myanmar.

“We don’t have time to fight each other. We have to stand firmly together to defend our nation,” he said.

U Aung Thaung Shwe, a MP from the RNP, said UN organisations have interfered in Rakhine State since 1994, creating trouble in order to get more funds.

“These organisations shape Bengalis as pitiful people because of discrimination so they can get international donations. I have worked with them for 10 years,” he said.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin said Yanghee Lee’s statement was untrue and biased.

U Kyaw Tin said Yanghee Lee didn’t follow the code of conduct, “especially when making public statements about allegations of human rights violations, a special rapporteur shall indicate what responses were given by the concerned state.”