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Information Sheet No. A-0686(I/L)
- Subject: Information Sheet No. A-0686(I/L)
- From: OKKAR66129@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 22:25:00
MYANMAR INFORMATION COMMITTEE
No. A-0686(I/L) 9th November 1998
This office is presenting the report submitted by Myanmar Ambassador
U Pe Thein Tin the Myanmar Representative to this year's 3rd Committee Meeting
at UNGA for your information.
On 4 November 1998, the Special Rapporteur Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah made a
statement on the submission of the Interim Report on the situation of human
rights in Myanmar to this year?s this Committee Meeting of the General
Assembly. Subsequently, the Myanmar Representative to the Third Committee of
the 53rd United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador U Pe Thein Tin made an
intervention on the submission of the Interim Report, giving Myanmar?s
position on the Interim Report. The full text of Ambassador, U Pe Thein Tin?s
statement is as follows:
Thank you for giving me the floor. I will now place on record my
delegation?s position regarding the Interim Report submitted by Mr. Lallah as
contained in A/53/364.
At the 48th session of the Commission on Human Rights held in 1992, the
Myanmar Observe Delegation even before the adoption of the resolution 1992/58
on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, stated interalia that the
resolution was a blatant attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of
Myanmar and that any decision to appoint a Special Rapporteur was totally
unacceptable to the Union of Myanmar. Therefore Myanmar Delegation dissociated
itself from the Commission?s resolution.
However, in the spirit of Myanmar?s unbroken tradition of faithfully
observing the principles of Charter and of closely cooperating with the UN
ever since Myanmar regained independence, Mr. Yozo Yokota, the Special
Rapporteur appointed by the Commission, was allowed to visit Myanmar to enable
him to see for himself in a free and open manner, the positive developments
taking place in country. At that time it was expected that he would, as an
imperial representative of the Commission on Human Rights observe the
universal human rights norms of non-selectivity, objectivity and impartiality.
The Special Rapporteur visited my country five times altogether, where he was
received by the highest authorities who explained to him in great detail that
the Myanmar Government was firmly committed to the establishment of a
disciplined democratic multiparty system and that this objective would be
achieved through the National Convention process. The Special Rapporteur was
given the opportunity to visit prisons, border areas, infrastructural
development and socio-economic development projects, Government Ministries,
schools and universities and many other insitutions. He also met with
students, ethnic nationalities and leaders of political parties besides high
ranking government officials. The Special Rapporteur before his departure from
a visit to Myanmar in November 1993 gave a press conference and before local
and foreign correspondents stated that he actually saw many positive changes
in the country. Despite all this, the reports submitted him were characterized
by the total lack of positive aspects and failed to reflect the actual
situation prevailing in the country.
The Interim Report now submitted by Mr. Lallah is no different from the
biased and derogatory reports submitted by his predecessor. These biased,
inaccurate and politically motivated reports have not been helpful to the
promotion of human rights. These who objectively follow development will
understand the obstacles faced by the Government, and come to a balanced and
realistic conclusion regarding developments taking place in my country.
I regret to say that this has not been the case with the reports on the
situation of Human Rights in Myanmar submitted every year.
As in his previous reports, Mr. Lallah has incorporated into the present
one, a litany of unsubstantiated allegations emanating from sources who bear
ill-will towards the Government and the people of Myanmar. There are those who
abuse human rights issues for reaching their own political objectives. How can
misinformation provided to Mr. Lallah by such sources be fair and correct? But
the most distressing aspect is that Mr. Lallah has willfully chosen such
misinformation to serve as the bedrock of his report.
If the allegations and conclusion in Mr.Lallah?s report were true the Union
of Myanmar, as portrayed by him, would be a land where violence and bloodbaths
are commonplace, where the 135 nationalities of the country are fleeing across
the borders because of unresolved conflicts amongst themselves, where
arbitrary and summary executions, involuntary disappearances and tortures in
detention are daily occurences, where rapes and maltreatment of women are
rife, where ?ethnic minorities? are ruthlessly persecuted. In fact, almost all
the serious violations relative to human rights are emmerated in the report.
How can this scenario be possible? It simply boggles our imagination Is
Myanmar such a country? Everyone in this room knows for a fact that this is
not the case, May I ask is not the Union of Myanmar a remarkably stable
country now, where the people are enjoying the unprecedented peace and
In his report, Mr. Lallah has alleged that human rights violations are
committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces. These allegations are based solely on
malicious accusations disseminated by a handful of remaining insurgents, and
are therefore highly questionable. Allow me here to quote Madame Sadako Ogata,
who served as the Independent Expert of the Commission on Human Rights to
Myanmar in 1990. I quote ?In fact, the Myanmar Armed Forces were recognized in
Asia and the world as maintaining a high standard of professionalism and
I need hardly tell this Committee that the Tatmadaw, or the Myanmar Armed
Forces, which is composed of the sons and daughters of the various
nationalities of the Union of Myanmar, is the most disciplined and organized
institution in the country and is depended upon by the people to infeguard
national independence and sovereignty and to prevent. The disintegration of
Union. The Tatmadaw is proud of its achievements and its honorable traditions
and is deeply imbrued with the sense of historical duty. To flippantly imply
that the Myanmar Armed Forces is committing human rights violations as a
matter of policy, is an affront which will not be tolerated by the Myanmar
people, for it constitates an insult to the whole nation.
I would like to apprise the Committee regarding the subject of forced labour
and forced relocation. There are allegations of forced labour and forced
relocation against the Myanmar Government. As a matter of policy, the
government neither practises nor condones the practice of forced labour of
forced relocation. Necessary directives to that effect have been issued to the
relevant government departments.
Voluntary community-based contribution of labour to the infrastructural
development and socio-economic development programmes of the government cannot
be construed as forced labour. The communities concerned are remunerated for
the services they rendered. Allegations are based solely on information
emanating from anti-government circles and organizations which have even been
able to testify before some UN Human Rights fora. In particular, these
allegations emanate from some pocket areas where the remnants of KNU
insurgents still exist.
The Village Act and the Town Act, which are left-overs from the colonial
legal system and alleged to be the legislative basis for acts of forced labour
have been reviewed by the Myanmar authorities to bring them in line with
conditions in the country as well as to fulfill Myanmar?s obligations to the
relevant Convention of the ILO. The Myanmar authorities have already assured
the ILO that they will complete the process within the time frame suggested in
the report of the Commission of Inquiry of the ILO.
My delegation totally rejects the recommendation contained in para 61 of the
Interim Report A/53/364. The circumstances of the deaths of the two
individuals mentioned in the paragraph have been explained in great detail
before, and no longer deserve reiteration at this point. To ascribe their
deaths to harsh treatment is a misrepresentation based on rumours
disseminated by antigovernment elements. Both the individuals died of natural
For a report to be factually correct and fair, the wealth of information
provided by the Government should also be taken into careful consideration and
reflected appropriately. Upon close serenity of the 6 chapters containing 63
paragraphs of Mr. Lallah?s report there is not a single positive aspect
incorporated regarding the situation in Myanmar. The portrayal is completely
dark. Situation of human rights in any given country can never be considered
negative in absolute terms. Nothing should be perceived as absolutely negative
in any country if such reports are to be accepted as fair and impartial.
The report is so biased, so one-sided and so unfair that many would wonder
if Mr.Lallah is willingly espousing the cause of anti-government elements.
It can easily be seen that Mr.Lallah?s conclusions and recommendations are
identical with the accusations leveled by those who have been striving to
exert and maintain international pressure on Myanmar. In all probability,
Mr.Lallah had the benefit of their suggestions and advice in drafting the
My delegation totally rejects the baseless allegations contained in Mr.
Thank your, Mr.Chairman.