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UN Human Rights Office calls for Southeast Asian countries to protect Burmese refugees

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UN Human Rights Office calls for Southeast Asian countries to protect Burmese refugees | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/Karen Information Center - KIC

With Burmese nationals fleeing to Thailand to escape the violence in following the military coup, the United Nations UN Human Rights Office for Southeast Asia is calling on all neighbouring countries to protect the refugees and to not force undocumented migrants to return to Myanmar. The UN says the human rights situation in Myanmar is “rapidly deteriorating.”

At least 510 peaceful protesters have been killed by security forces while 2,600 people have been detained following the February 1 coup, according to the UN.

Night raids, mass arrests and killings have become daily occurrences throughout the country. De facto military authorities have increasingly resorted to heavy weaponry such as rocket-propelled and fragmentation grenades, heavy machine guns, and snipers to kill demonstrators in massive numbers.

In Thailand’s strongest and most direct statement yet following the Myanmar coup, yesterday the foreign ministry said it was “gravely troubled” by the casualties from the military-related violence. The ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat called for an end to the violence and for the release of detained protesters. Thailand has been working with other countries in Southeast Asia to come up with a peaceful solution to the situation in Myanmar, the spokesperson says.

Many media reports say Thailand has forced Burmese refugees back over the border, but Tanee denies those reports, saying many who fled to Thailand returned home.

The UN Human Rights Offices says they received reports that some people seeking safety have been forced to return to their home country. South-East Asia Regional Representative of the UN Human Rights Office in Bangkok says “No one should face the risk of being returned to Myanmar when their lives, safety or fundamental human rights are threatened.”

“In light of binding obligations under international refugee and human rights law, we call on all countries to ensure that all those seeking asylum are able to access the protection to which they are entitled under international law.”

SOURCES: OHCHR | Reuters

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slugger

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Funny how all protestors are ‘peaceful’ isnt it? The majority I’ve seen on live tv are throwing things, like petrol bombs.

  2. Avatar

    Slugger

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    ‘The UN Human Rights Offices says they received reports’

    Oh yeah? Who from?

  3. Avatar

    Comicus

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Any educated person knows that it is not “Burmese” but “Karen” and of course, ‘Burmese’ is not the right word to call Myanmar people.

  4. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    You again SLUGGER YOU PIECE OF OFFAL
    If you are being killed why not try to fight back any way you can..some even have slingshots to fight against M16,s ….you tiny minded idiot brian
    You condemn mass murder torture of unarmed people trying to get their democracy back
    I only wish they had the weapons these Burmese military scum have
    You SLUGGER
    should be banned from this forum with comments like that SAME ON YOU Take the side of those Military murdering scum

    Good Luck BURMA

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, April 2, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    What does anyone expect from protestors who are shot for protesting.
    The protesters need snipers and a lot of them.
    And as for the UN bleating: stop the killing, well that is easy for UN persons on tax free $2000 a week.
    Is that worth their big wages – I do not think so.

  6. Avatar

    Stardust

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    The filmed footages and international Observers report shows that the refugess were forced back into areas where are airstrike and fighting continous. Thevwhole world could see these footages in the news excuding in Thailand. And sure there are international observers now in this area because this big mess from the Juntas is now on the radar.

  7. Avatar

    Adrian L. Sabater

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Yes Toby you have hit the UN nail right on its head. All TALK but never any worthwhile action!

  8. Avatar

    Craig

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    It’s sad what’s taking place there but this area is so much different than the West. I can accept coming here to rescue stranded cave hikers but to get involved with the politics and war of a SE Asian country is a no go for me. It’s a waste of our time and energy because it will soon be time for another coup.

  9. Avatar

    Stardust

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    By the way european and international help organizations and medical workers didnt got access to the refugees by the Thai army. Also the reports say the refugees were pushed back by force by the Thai Army and is not allowed by international law to send them back in areas still fighting goes on. All this reports inclusive all filmed footages were sent to the UN and are official.

  10. Avatar

    Roy Bowey

    Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 2:59 am

    I second throwing slugger out of the forum.

  11. Avatar

    Michael

    Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 6:19 am

    “I second throwing slugger out of the forum.”

    How do you want to do that? You don’t even have to register here to post. Its better to ignore him.

  12. Avatar

    jack

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 4:17 am

    This is why you NEVER allow your government to confiscate weapons. Spit balls are not much use against AK-47s

  13. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, April 5, 2021 at 4:47 am

    The UN are the biggest waste of space going they condemn but do nothing I see this so many times they need closing down the west should act and invade this country and restore the democratic government and the dictators arrested for murder as for slugger what a piece of shit you are but karma will prevail and you will suffer I’m sure

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Myanmar

$85 to retrieve the dead after bloody Burmese military clash

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$85 to retrieve the dead after bloody Burmese military clash | Thaiger
PHOTO: Bago was the site of a bloody crackdown yesterday.

Activists say the Burmese military is charging $85 to families to recover the bodies that security forces killed in Friday’s violent clash. The city of Bago, about 90 km northeast of Yangon, was raided by military forces with 82 people killed according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local advocacy group. Since the February 1 coup, the military has been systematically cracking down against peaceful protesters, detaining 3,000 people and killing over 700 more.

Eyewitnesses in Bago say the Burmese military used grenades, RPGs, and assault rifles to quell anti-coup protestors, forcing many villagers and activists to flee and go into hiding. Military security forces are going through the neighbourhoods now and have cut off internet access. Burmese forces claimed they were attacked by protestors while removing road barriers, alleging that demonstrators used homemade guns, shields, grenades, arrows and fire bottles.

In the aftermath of the bloody clash, the military charged families 120,000 Burmese Kyat (about $85) to collect the bodies of lost relatives. This was reported by Bago University Students’ Union’s Facebook page as well as Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service.

NGO Human Rights Watch had published a call for the European Union to take action and implement strict sanctions on the Burmese military on Thursday. And yesterday the US Embassy in Myanmar joined the call, posting on Twitter, urging peace.

“We mourn the senseless loss of life in Bago and around the country where regime forces have reportedly used weapons of war against civilians. The regime has the ability to resolve the crisis and needs to start by ending violence and attacks.”

A volunteer doctor who chairs the Red Cross in Bago had been detained by the Burmese military police on April 2, and yesterday a second volunteer doctor was taken after administering free medical aid to protestors, according to his family.

Meanwhile, the military’s commander-in-chief and another spokesman maintain that the Burmese military are peacekeepers, trying to strengthen the democratic system of Myanmar by safeguarding the country and investigating a fraudulent election. They deny that they seized power and blame the violence and death in the country on protestors rioting.

SOURCE: CNN

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Myanmar

More bitter clashes yesterday in Myanmar with the toll rising to 618

Tim Newton

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More bitter clashes yesterday in Myanmar with the toll rising to 618 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Burmese troops attack residents in Bago - Kadeshan

“618 Burmese civilians, including 48 children, have been killed by the army and their security forces since the February 1 coup.”

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reports that Burmese soldiers have killed 80 civilian protesters near Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Myanmar Now reports the number as 82…

“The junta’s armed forces crushed a key protest stronghold in Bago’s Ma Ga Dit road in a pre-dawn attack…. Soldiers have been stationed at the Zeyar Muni pagoda compound in the town and have taken dead bodies inside…. “There could be at least 57 dead bodies inside the pagoda compound as well as three bodies at a local morgue and one that was cremated immediately”.

Witnesses say troops used rifle grenades against protesters in Bago.

“A leader of the protest column in Bago said no one could go outside as soldiers were shooting at anybody they saw on the streets,” according to Myanmar Now.

The reporting of numbers of civilian deaths has become more complicated since the Army chiefs ordered a switch off of communications and internet, throttling the communications between people and groups inside the country. The story of the 82 people massacred in Bago took more than 24 hours to emerge.

Another Bago resident told AFP that Army officials wouldn’t allow rescue workers near the bodies.

“They piled up all the dead bodies, loaded them into their army truck and drove it away,” he told AFP.

Footage from Al Jazeera here…

 

Yesterday, in Tamu, Sagaing Region, in far northwest Myanmar, locals ambushed Burmese security forces with home-made rifles as they tried to enter the town to confront protesters. At least 3 soldiers and one local resident were killed in that clash.

Meanwhile, forces calling themselves the ‘Three Brotherhood Alliance’ of ethnic armed organisations attacked a police station yesterday, 25 kilometres outside of Lashio, deep in the northern Shan State near the Chinese border, resulting in the death of many police. Myanmar Now reports that 8 police were killed in the attack, including the police chief.

Troops from the Arakan Army , the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army were involved in the strike, according to local residents.

The Brotherhood Alliance is also a part of the Federal Political Negotiation and Consultative Committee led by the United Wa State Army, an organisation trying to unite Myanmar’s disparate ethnic groups against the Burmese army.

In another update, according to AFP, 19 people were reported to have been sentenced to death for killing an associate of an army captain near Yangon, the first sentences of that nature announced on military-owned TV outlets. Only 2 of the sentenced are currently in custody, the others were sentenced in absentia.

SOURCES: AFP | Myanmar Now

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Thailand

UN special envoy in Thailand to meet Foreign Minister about Myanmar crisis

Tim Newton

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UN special envoy in Thailand to meet Foreign Minister about Myanmar crisis | Thaiger
PHOTO: Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener - The MM Times

The UN’s special envoy on Myanmar is meeting with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution for the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

But Thai officials have put her quarantine ahead of the needs of the Burmese people with Christine Schraner Burgener, who arrived in Bangkok yesterday, having to spend 7 days in ASQ before meeting in person with FM Don. The special envoy received 2 doses of Covid vaccine before her departure to Thailand.

She is visiting Thailand as part of a quick (well, not so quick with the imposed 7 day delay) diplomatic tour around ASEAN nations to “explore possible solutions” to the continuing carnage in Myanmar brought about by the Tatmadaw following a military coup on February 1. Nearly 600 civilians have been killed by gangs of soldiers under orders to crackdown on protesters who insist on a return of the civilian Aung San Suu Kyi government.

In the November general election in Myanmar, the military backed parties only gained 17% of the total vote. Military chiefs say that there was “voting irregularities” despite Myanmar’s independent election commission claiming the vote was “free and fair”.

Christine Schraner Burgener, a former Swiss ambassador to Thailand, has served as the special envoy on Myanmar for 3 years. Her specific mandate from the UN is to “support the reform, reconciliation and democratisation processes in Myanmar, as well as to address violence in Rakhine State and Rohingya displaced persons”.

Thailand’s government whilst calling for a peaceful resolution has held back from more forceful language over the violence in the neighbouring country. The government has also come under fire from NGOs stationed on the border, monitoring the flow of refugees crossing from Myanmar, who claim the government has been doing little to help and, in some cases, just turning the refugees back and refusing them entry.

According to Thai PBS World, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry says that Thailand is “deeply concerned”.

“We are committed to cooperating and engaging constructively with the international community, including through the UN and ASEAN, in order to find a peaceful solution for Myanmar and its people. We hope that this visit to the region by the Special Envoy can contribute towards possible solutions.”

AFP quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the junta in Myanmar has not yet given Burgener a “green light” to visit the country..

With the backing of the UN Security Council, Christine Schraner Burgener says she wants to visit detained civilian leaders, mostly from the NLD ruling party (before February 1, including the Myanmar President Wint Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | AFP

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