Mon, 29 Nov 2021

UN Rapporteur for stricter measures against Myanmar

Khalid Umar Malik
25 Oct 2021, 06:26 GMT+10

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar's military government has slammed its Southeast Asian neighbors' decision to invite only a non-political representative to an upcoming regional meeting, an insult to the leader of the February 1 coup, as calls for more international pressure on the coup leaders rise.

The military administration's foreign ministry claimed in a news release on Friday that Myanmar's heads of state and government have equal and full rights to attend ASEAN summits.

The next summit will be held on October 26-28. It's unclear who will now represent Myanmar at the conference.

"Myanmar will not be in a position to accept any outcome of the discussions and decisions which are contrary to the provisions, objectives and cherished principles of the ASEAN Charter," the foreign ministry statement said.

International pressure has mounted on ASEAN to adopt a stricter stance against Myanmar's failure to implement agreed-upon initiatives to cease violence, enable humanitarian access, and initiate talks with its opposition, as outlined in an April ASEAN "consensus."

Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur on the state of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, has urged the UN General Assembly to act and deny Myanmar's military authorities "what it needs to keep holding them hostage: money, weapons, and legitimacy."

Andrews called on the United Nations to pass a resolution restricting the supply of weaponry to Myanmar.

"This action is necessary because weapons and dual-use technology continued to be sold and shipped to the junta," he stated.

Andrews also asked for sanctions against Myanmar's oil and gas industry, which he claims is the military government's single largest source of revenue.

As the military deploys "tens of thousands of troops, heavy weaponry, and other military assets" into the country's northern area, where rebels are fighting the government, the UN special envoy warned of further possible bloodshed.

"Unfortunately, we are likely on the eve of yet another catastrophe, including a significant loss of innocent lives and an even greater number of human rights violations," he feared.

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