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Myanmar rebukes UN over Rhakine genocide report

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Myanmar rebukes UN over Rhakine genocide report | The Thaiger
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By Khine Kyaw , Yangon

Myanmar has responded to the UNs Fact Finding Mission that concluded genocide had been committed in Rakhine, saying the Myanmar Government did not recognise the mission and accused the writers of the report of intending to create a rift between the civilian government and the military.

“We have already dissociated ourselves from the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council, meaning Myanmar does not accept the establishment of that mission. So we do not accept any finding of that mission, and there is no way to cooperate with the Fact Finding Mission. We do not accept the one-sided accusations by that mission,” said presidential spokesperson Zaw Htay.

The UN report on Monday called for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and several other senior military officers for “genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” over their responsibility for violence in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states. The mission and international players also want to refer the case to the International Criminal Court.

“Actually, it is like an intentional attack on our country. For one thing, August 27 is not the date set for the launch of UN Fact-Finding Mission’s report, which was supposed to be submitted on September 18. But as the UN Security Council currently is holding a meeting on Myanmar affairs , we believe the report was timed as a blow to us just before the meeting,” Zaw Htay said.

“Our zero-tolerance policy on human rights violation is very clear. We have already told Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) and police to address the Rakhine conflicts cautiously and legally, respecting human rights. If there is any evidence of human rights violations, let us know and we will investigate and take severe actions,” he said.

“Now, the Independent Enquiry Commission is doing its job very well. It will definitely let us know if it finds any evidence of such violations and then we will take actions against those who are involved.”

The spokesman also denounced Facebook for banning Min Aung Hlaing and other Myanmar officials and organisations for their alleged involvement in genocide and hate speech in the country. The government has asked Facebook how the removed accounts can be retrieved, and whether it will remove any accounts and pages created anew by banned military officials, he said.

“This kind of intentional attack may have negative impacts on our efforts for national reconciliation. I want to reiterate that there was no input by the government in Facebook’s ban on military officials.”

Win Mara, chairman of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, said Myanmar has frequently asked the international community to be sceptical of one-sided accusations.

“Everything seems to emerge from exaggerations about the conflicts,” he said.

 

Myanmar rebukes UN over Rhakine genocide report | News by The Thaiger

“The country’s human rights body is happy to witness that the government has willingly followed the suggestions of Kofi Anan’s commission and the advisory board led by Thailand’s former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai”, he said.

“This was systematically arranged to attack our country in different ways. It seems like an insult to our sovereignty,” he said.

Min Zaw Oo, director of the Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security, agreed, saying he believed it was a dishonest effort to foster confrontation between the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and the Tatmadaw.

The more confrontations between the two institutions, the harder it will be to build trust and peace, he said. The UN report indicated that civilian authorities had little scope to control the actions of the Tatmadaw.

It also found that “through their acts and omissions, the civilian authorities have contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes”.

“The State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, has not used her de facto position as head of government, nor her moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events in Rakhine state,” the report states.

Nay Zin Latt, chairman of National Development Party, said conflict in Rakhine was started by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). The military merely tried to restore peace and stability in conflict-hit state, he claimed.

“I think everything was well-planned to pose further pressures on Myanmar, creating misunderstanding between the civilian government and the military,” he said.

Myanmar rebukes UN over Rhakine genocide report | News by The ThaigerSpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee

SOURCE: The Nation

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Crime

3 Chinese casino workers arrested with 8 million baht after illegal crossing from Myanmar

Maya Taylor

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3 Chinese casino workers arrested with 8 million baht after illegal crossing from Myanmar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Residents

Officers from the Thai police and military have arrested 3 Chinese nationals after they crossed illegally into Thailand from the Burmese town of Myawaddy. Thai Residents reports that the 2 women and 1 man were workers at a casino in Myanmar and were arrested in possession of 8 million baht. Officers detained them as they were getting into 2 cars allegedly arranged for them by 2 Thai men .

The arrests happened in the district of Mae Sot, in the northern Thai province of Tak, where border patrols have been increased in light of a surge in Covid-19 cases in Myanmar. The Chinese nationals crossed the Moei River, which separates Myawaddy and Mae Sot, with the assistance of a Burmese national. It’s understood they were attempting to flee Myanmar due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Malaysian PM proposes a state of emergency in a political move to postpone budget vote

The Thaiger

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Malaysian PM proposes a state of emergency in a political move to postpone budget vote | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin - The Star

Malaysia’s head of state is said to be consulting with the country’s other hereditary rulers to discuss a proposal by Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin, who has requested that the King declare a state of emergency. The Star newspaper is reporting that the country’s rulers would meet at 2.30pm tomorrow, after which the king will deliver a decision to the PM.

Muhyiddin had an audience with King Al-Sultan Abdullah yesterday to formally request the rare state of emergency which would result in a suspension of the Malaysian parliament. On the face of the request is the need to take emergency measures to control a recent outbreak in new coronavirus cases. But opposition MPs say the manoeuvre is purely political and not related to the country’s response to Covid-19. They say the country is well equipped to make decisions related to public health and the coronavirus outbreak

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has denounced the move as a “power grab” by the country’s PM. The Council of Rulers, which groups the heads of Malaysia’s 9 royal houses, has the power to withhold consent from any law and deliberate on questions of national policy.

Malaysia is suffering a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, much more pronounced than the first wave in March and April. The move to apply for the dissolution of the Malaysian parliament is being read by commentators as a political stunt, unrelated to the coronavirus spike, since PM Muhyiddin faces a leadership challenge from opposition leader Anwar, who last month claimed majority support in parliament to oust the premier.

Malaysian PM proposes a state of emergency in a political move to postpone budget vote | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the palace has not formally identified the specific recommendations made by the PM, and says the king will “soon” be discussing the motion with Malaysia’s other heredity rulers.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah greatly understands the need for the country’s administration to continue to tackle the threat of Covid-19.”

Malaysia has suffered between 800 – 950 new cases per day over the past week, a spike in new cases, causing concern for the South East country that had largely contained the worst of the spread earlier this year.

As a background, the ruling government government is scheduled to propose its 2021 budget on November 6, and there have been questions over whether the PM can muster a majority to pass the supply bill. Defeat on the budget would count as a vote of no-confidence and could trigger an election. Any state of emergency, involving the dissolution of parliament, would postpone a vote on the forthcoming budget.

The government agreed at yesterday’s special cabinet meeting that declaring a state of emergency would halt any attempts to politically destabilise the government, “allowing it to focus on containing the outbreak”.

In a state of emergency, the Malaysian King is able to act on any important bills at his discretion.

SOURCE: Reuters | The Star

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Governor halts movement of goods between Tak and Myanmar amid Covid fears

Maya Taylor

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Governor halts movement of goods between Tak and Myanmar amid Covid fears | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.12go.asia

The governor of the north-western province of Tak has put a temporary stop on the transport of goods between the province and Myanmar, just across the border. The suspension comes amid increasing anxiety about the number of Covid-19 cases in the neighbouring country and is expected to remain in force until at least October 25.

Governor Pongrat Piromrat called a halt to the movement of goods after 3 Burmese truck drivers tested positive for the virus, followed by 3 Burmese workers, all members of the same family, who were living in the Mae Sot district of Tak. Last week, residents of Mae Sot gathered at a checkpoint by the Friendship Bridge, which spans the Moei River, and connects Mae Sot with the Burmese city of Myawaddy. They were protesting what they see as lax control of drivers crossing from Myanmar into the Kingdom.

Thai PBS World reports that the area where the latest infections have been discovered is now under 24 hour watch by village guards, with everyone entering and leaving having to undergo health screening, including temperature checks.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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