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Reuters-UN says rights envoy blocke

Subject: Reuters-UN says rights envoy blocked from visiting Myanmar 

UN says rights envoy blocked from visiting Myanmar
07:50 a.m. Nov 24, 1998 Eastern
GENEVA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights investigator for
Myanmar has again been denied permission to visit by the military
government, but will meet displaced Myanmar minorities in Thailand this
week, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.

Rajsoomer Lallah, a former chief justice of Mauritius, has been blocked from
visiting Myanmar, the former Burma, since being appointed by the U.N.
Commission on Human Rights to the independent post in 1996.

During his November 25-December 5 trip to Thailand, he will visit camps at
Mae Sot, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong, which hold displaced ethnic Karen, Shan and
Kareni, respectively, U.N. rights spokesman Jose Diaz told a news briefing
in Geneva.

Asked about the Rangoon government's response to Lallah, which was relayed
through Myanmar's diplomatic mission in Geneva, Diaz said: ``The
justification was that there was no need to investigate the situation.''

Lallah's latest report to the U.N. General Assembly earlier this month cited
allegations of extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, rape, torture,
inhuman treatment, mass arrests, forced labour and other rights violations.
He said that opposition parties continued to be subject to constant
monitoring by the government.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi, won Myanmar's last election in 1990 but was never allowed
to take office.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson last month called on
the Myanmar leadership to begin a dialogue with the opposition on national
reconciliation and to allow Lallah to make a fact-finding visit.

In a statement, the former Irish president said she had raised issues
including forced labour and the forced displacement of ethnic minorities
with Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw in New York during the General Assembly on
September 23.

She had received ``no satisfactory response,'' she said.