Myanmar junta slams ‘dictating’ UN rights chief

American Age Official

Myanmar’s junta on Thursday slammed “dictating” remarks by the United Nations human rights chief and accused the body of interfering in its affairs after it called for the world to ramp up pressure on the generals.

The Southeast Asian country on Tuesday marked a year since the military seized power in a coup that ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and sparked huge pro-democracy protests and a bloody military crackdown.

Days earlier Michelle Bachelet urged the world to ramp up the pressure on the junta to compel it to cease violence and “ensure that perpetrators of systemic human rights violations and abuses” were held to account.

The junta slammed the “provoking” release and accused the world body of interfering in its internal affairs, according to a statement released by its ministry of foreign affairs.

Myanmar “cannot accept dictating comments and criticism by foreign countries”, it added.

The statement also accused UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tom Andrews of making “unethical and inciting remarks”.

On the anniversary of the coup, Andrews also called for more international action against the military and said he was preparing to release a report exposing where the ruling junta have been getting their weapons from.

Myanmar is increasingly isolated on the international stage, with Cambodian strongman ruler Hun Sen’s January visit the only one by any foreign leader since the generals seized power.

The junta’s latest diplomatic blow came Thursday, as regional bloc ASEAN barred its top diplomat from attending an upcoming meeting of foreign ministers.

Earlier this week the its main allies Russia and China endorsed a UN Security Council resolution calling for an “immediate cessation of all forms of violence” in the country and expressed hopes an envoy would be able to travel to Myanmar and mediate.

In a speech marking the coup anniversary on Tuesday, Min Aung Hlaing said the junta had discussed prospective visits by ASEAN and UN special envoys to the country, according to state newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar.

But he added any cooperation with the international community would be done “without harming the sovereignty of the State, national interests and the future plans of the government”.

More than 1,500 people have been killed by security forces and over 11,000 arrested since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.


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