Myanmar junta slams UN official who said military shows 'contempt' for human life

"No concrete evidence" to support UN's claims, the junta claimed.

Keyla Supharta | March 09, 2023, 03:42 PM

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The junta government of Myanmar has denounced the United Nations (UN)'s high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, for making a "sweeping allegation" and "irrelevant" comments about the country's military rule.

The statement, which was posted on the Facebook page of Myanmar's Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a response to an interactive dialogue held on Monday (Mar. 6), based on the UN's report on the situation of human rights in Myanmar published on Friday (Mar. 3).

"The disregard and contempt for human life and human rights that are continuously demonstrated by the military, constitute an outrage to the conscience of humanity," Türk said, calling for support for the people of Myanmar.

"Sweeping allegations"

The junta, on the other hand, defended its position and "question[ed] the professionalism and transparency" of the UN.

It said that the UN did not include its own response to the report, which was supposedly shared with the junta only two days before publication.

The junta said that the UN "slightly" highlighted the violence committed by its opponents, including groups linked to the deposed civilian government of Myanmar, "for the first time".

The junta also claimed that the UN's report "waters down the terrorist acts committed by the terrorist groups," a term that the military government associates with their opponents.

They maintained that most of the violence and conflicts referred to in the document took place with the involvement and provocation of these so-called "terrorist groups".

The post also called the accusations "sweeping allegations" and said there is no concrete evidence to support the claims. It also objected to the commissioner's effort to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

Nevertheless, it added that developments in Myanmar are "solely internal affairs" that don't pose any risk to "international peace and security."

"In conclusion, the Government of Myanmar is resolute to bring the country back to multi-party democratic system and has been upholding the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations," the statement added.

Solution must involve national reconciliation

In December 2022, the UN Security Council adopted its first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years, demanding an end to the violence and to release former leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, Al Jazeera reported.

According to some estimates, around 12,000 have died due to political violence as of Feb. 2022, since the coup in Feb. 2021.

China and Russia, who have supported Myanmar's military leaders since the coup, abstained from voting. India also abstained.

Recently, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said Asean has not recognised the legitimacy of the military government.

Speaking in the Committee of Supply debate on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Feb. 27, 2023, Vivian noted that while the situation remains grave in Myanmar, a solution must involve national reconciliation amongst all domestic stakeholders.

Find out more about the crisis in Myanmar in our video:

Top image via screenshot from MizzimaTV/YouTube