POST TIME: 12 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Welcoming UN call for resolution on Myanmar

Welcoming UN call for resolution on Myanmar

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has asked the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution and forward it to the General Assembly to start a mechanism for bringing the perpetrators of human rights violations in Myanmar to justice. She has also thanked the International Criminal Court, ICC’s pre-trial chamber for deciding to investigate the extent of human rights abuses in Myanmar.

For Bangladesh, which has housed and is looking after more than a million Rohingyas who fled persecution plus calculated purging operation in Rakhine State by the Myanmar military, this is a step forward to ensure justice. In addition, now there is an official acknowledgement at one of the highest international platforms that what happened in Myanmar was a crime against humanity, bordering on genocide and, an investigation must be carried out to bring the culprits to justice. While we feel that once the UN wheels start to move there will be certain military leaders in Burma who will be under pressure, let’s also ensure that the UN’s current status does not lose the impetus, making the movement into a false dawn.

The UN plus ICC should have acted last year when hordes of people with horrifying tales of savagery were entering Bangladesh. However, it’s better late than never. As soon as there is a resolution prompting an in-depth probe and a trial, the brazen disregard shown by Myanmar so far will lessen. The UN commissioner has also asked for probe into reports of gross abuses in other states in Myanmar like Kachin and Shan where people reportedly faced extrajudicial murders along with repression of a wide variety. What is needed is a comprehensive look into Myanmar’s different provinces, where the military is said to have resorted to inhuman tactics to silence dissenters.

We must say that there is something gravely wrong in Myanmar which is being concealed from the world by the farcical face of a civil government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The pogrom in Rakhine is only one facet of the military which orchestrated fear campaigns, killings, rape, arson and psychological intimidation in several other provinces. The fact that all these transgressions are kicked into the long grass indicates that the civilian face of the government is in collusion with the army to put up an illusion of reforms while underneath, the barbarism continues.

Myanmar has to be opened up for thorough inspection and the UN needs to act expeditiously. Hopefully, the strident rhetoric will not fizzle out faced with the rigmarole of bureaucracy.