Myanmar’s Response on the Interactive Dialogue on the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Myanmar at the 56th Session of the Human Rights Council

(Geneva, 18 June 2024)

The Interactive Dialogue on the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled “Situation of Human Rights of Rohingya Muslims and Other Minorities in Myanmar” was held on 18 June 2024, at the ongoing 56th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva with no representative of the country-concerned in contrary to the fundamental principles of constructive international dialogue and cooperation of the Human Rights Council.

The Government provided the information requested by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Nonetheless, the facts provided by the Government were ignored, whereas the narratives of armed groups and terrorists were echoed, indicating sampling bias, which eventually lead false insights, incorrect conclusions and flawed recommendations. The report and interactive dialogue lost their mandated focus by magnifying internal affairs of Myanmar.

With regard to the repatriation, Myanmar is fully committed to the repatriation of the verified displaced persons from the Rakhine State through bilateral arrangements with Bangladesh and prepared to receive the returnees as early as possible. Myanmar shares concerns about developments in Rakhine State. AA insurgents have been destroying peace and stability in Rakhine State in their ulterior political and economic interests. While people were performing various meritorious deeds during the last Myanmar New Year in April 2024, AA terrorists launched heavy weapon shells in Buthidaung Township, Rakhine State, to disrupt stability and cause panic among the people. Moreover, AA is an organization which relies on the financial source generated from illicit drugs. From 2016 to March 2024, there have been 9 arrests of drug-trafficking carried out by AA, which is worth MMK 294.82 billion.

As part of the so-called Three Brotherhood Alliance, AA armed group provokes coordinated attacks in towns and villages in Rakhine State along with the so-called operation 1027 in northern Shan State. Since the local communities resist and oppose the atrocities of AA, they become the target of retaliation. While the Government provides shelters to those who sought refuge in Buthidaung town, the Basic Education High School where temporary displaced persons are being sheltered was attacked by AA on 4 May 2024 and two civilians were killed. As of 13 May 2024, 60 innocent civilians lost their lives due to the attacks committed by AA terrorists. On 17 and 18 May 2024 in Buthidaung, AA armed group torched the houses and committed massacres. The number of victims is under verification.

In order to cover up the incidents in Buthidaung, AA terrorists circulated concocted news that 40 persons were killed by security forces at Byaingphyu Village, Sittwe Township. On 29 May 2024, while security forces were interrogating the suspected non-residents in the Byaingphyu village, three of them attempted to grab the rifle of a member of the security forces to attack him. In a rescue attempt by a security personnel, they were shot dead. While AA terrorists have been blocking the main transportation and trade routes, the Government ensures food and commodities reach to the local people.

The presentation slightly touches on the violations and atrocities of AA armed groups against the local population. It is, in fact, similar characters with other armed groups which commit heinous crimes, including killings, torture, threats, expulsion, arson attacks, extortion, exploiting natural resources, etc., against the local population which deserves more attention of the High Commissioner. Infightings among PDF terrorists as well as between armed groups for territory and resources not only affect stability but also create tensions along with ethnic and religious line. Some such instances can be found in Myanmar’s observations in the report available at the website of the Permanent Mission.  

The presentations of the High Commissioner and some countries mention intensified fighting of armed groups and acknowledged the attacks against towns and villages which are simply not military targets. While several towns in remote areas were under attack, the Government managed to restore stability in many areas. Due to atrocities committed by the armed groups, local residents could not live any longer under their control and abandoned their places. The photos of the people returning to towns once the Tatmadaw regained control clearly indicate that the local population feels safe and trusts the state security forces.

Regarding the military service, Myanmar introduces military service like many other countries, which apply similar practices in line with domestic requirements. The first and second batches of military training were joined by volunteers who are willing to defend the country and sovereignty. Anyone with the knowledge of forced recruitment can easily file a complaint with the Central Body for summoning to join the military service at any time.

As a matter of principle, Myanmar always opposes the country-specific mandates which never create a conducive environment for dialogue and cooperation. While Myanmar has been working towards a democratic and federal Union, discussions at the Council without the participation of Myanmar based on fabricated information only create misunderstandings and distrust between Myanmar and the international community. Therefore, Myanmar registers its objection on holding one-sided country-specific ID at the Human Rights Council and rejects the report entitled “Situation of Human Rights of Rohingya Muslims and other Minorities in Myanmar (A/HRC/56/23)”.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations