— Qadhi A.Z.Al Hafi.
Breaking News-Feature | Southeast Asia–UN Newsdesk
The UN’s fact-finding mission concerning Myanmar’s ongoing humanitarian crisis has been gravely hampered by adopting the prohibitive measures that denied the UN special rapporteur Ms. Yanghee Lee’s access to Rakhine state.
Visiting Rakhine, where most of the Rohingyas are populated was the core-objective of UN human rights investigator.
Much disgracefully than more shamelessly, the ‘state-upheld’ Rakhine leader and monk Wirathu publicly referred to her as a ‘bitch’ and a ‘whore’.
“The contemptuous, immoral and dissolute way employed by the state, conversely can also be employed as a direct measure of the mores and standards that are cyclically manifested by Myanmars’ ethnic leadership and its depraved hatred-fueling relics”, comments Prof. Dr. Qadhi Aurangzeb Al-Hafi, the SAARC-ASEAN Post-doc Academia’s principal investigator (PI), who also presently heads the investigative projects at UN-MDGs SAIRI Post-doc Research Multiversity.
In a barefacedly as well as comically fact-twisting fashion, the Arakan officials, have quite deceitfully stated, “Lee could not visit the state due to extreme weather conditions”.
Contrarily, however, the rapporteur established very clearly and inveterately, that her official request for an already decided stop-over “was denied by the government” well before the monsoon and even her visit started.
“Although, it isn’t for the first time that the UN mandate’s vehemence is impudently defied by Burmese Govt., however, the ‘twisty’ way the envoy’s undertakings have been restricted, reveals enough the ‘shameless psychology’ behind, at a state level…..!”, remarks further Prof. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi.
According to well-cited evident reports, she was ‘greeted’ by state-sponsored protests during her last visit, earlier this year.
However, on account of the UN mandate as well as owing to the vehemence of humanitarian compelling, the rapporteur asserted that, “Some have informed me that these are sensitive issues which should not be raised publicly… but I cannot shy away from continuing to highlight serious human rights violations and make principled but constructive recommendations.”
The U.N. human rights envoy says her whirlwind visit to Myanmar was marred by disappointments: She was barred from meeting long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims. Talks with several high-ranking officials were denied or cancelled at the last minute. And when she met with government critics, security officials were there, quietly snapping pictures, according to Robin McDowell’s reportage from Yangon.
McDowell’s reportage explicates further that, it was Lee’s third trip to Myanmar since being appointed the country’s U.N. special rapporteur on human rights just over a year ago. The challenges have increased with each visit. She has waded into sensitive subjects, most notably the treatment of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya. Though she asked to visit for 10 days, as she has in the past, she was only given five this time.
Yanghee Lee was in the Southeast Asian nation to assess the human rights situation, but she said that serious disruptions to her program made it impossible to fulfill her mandate. “I am also disappointed that requested meetings and visits were not granted or suddenly changed or cancelled at the last minute without prior notice,” she said.
Lee said she had received credible information that some of her interlocutors had been photographed by security officials.
During Lee’s last visit, comments about the persecution of Rohingya drew a stinging response from the government.. Attacks by machete-wielding mobs in 2012 sent more than a quarter-million Rohingya either fleeing by boat or to camps in Rakhine state, where they have limited access to adequate health care or education and are denied freedom of movement.
This is an issue that must be seen against the backdrop of institutionalized discrimination against the Rohingya population in Rakhine, she told a press conference at the end of her visit. The opposition, led by Aung San Suu Kyi , is expected to make substantial gains in upcoming polls at the expense of the military-backed ruling party. Lee had many concerns ahead of the vote, including the disenfranchisement of large swathes of the population, the harassment and arrest of civil society activists, journalists and bipartisan investigators and the risk that elections in conflict-riddled areas will be called off.
According to another reportage from Irrawaddy:
Riterating her commitment to continued engagement with the Burmese government and all other stakeholders, Lee expressed “regret” that she was denied requested access to western Burma’s Arakan State, limited to half the time of her previous visits and subjected to last minute cancelation of stakeholder meetings.
“This hampers my ability to fulfill my mandate,” Lee said, stating her commitment to seek information and report fairly to the UN General Assembly. Lee’s annual report on the country is due by 2015’s last quarter just before a nationwide general election.
“While I am fully aware of the complexities of the situation in Myanmar and the reform process… I would remain committed to my mandate, despite these restraints,” reaffirmed the UN rapporteur Lee.
The rapporteur further condemned the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya community, referring to the recent revocation of temporary identification cards—called white cards—which effectively annulled their right as Burmese citizens.
Regarding the thorny issue of creating a path to citizenship for the beleaguered minority, Lee said that “more has to be done and can be done to address the legal status of the Rohingya and the institutionalized discrimination faced by this community.”
Riots between Rakhines and Rohingyas tore through the state in 2012, displacing hundreds of thousands of families along small children, women and elders. Most of those affected were stateless Rohingya, who the rapporteur said remain subject to “institutionalized discrimination” in the state.
This and other pressing rights issues are aimed to be addressed in more detail in her report to the UN General Assembly.
About Professor Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi:
Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi’s name is no stranger to any state of affairs, when it comes to moral and humane convictions. Incontestably, the epitome watch-word ‘Aurangzeb Al-Hafi’ has always stood for raising sane, courageous and upright voice, at the critical most junctures of the our era’s considerations.
Professor Dr. Al Hafi has long been working for children in disastrous emergencies and cataclysmic situations. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi was the prime investigatory head of the projects concerning the disabled population of refugee camps in Sri Lanka, following the Asian Tsunami of 2004. He also maintained technical liaisons with the UN and other concerned quarters thereof.
References and Recommended Readings
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