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Conflicting claims over Myanmar probe team’s visit to Bangladesh

  • Published at 01:17 am October 29th, 2019
Rohingya
File Photo: Rohingya men and women migrating to different camps in Cox Bazar Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

While Myanmar has recently claimed that its evidence collection team was waiting for Bangladesh’s approval to visit Cox’s Bazar, the later said Myanmar has made no formal request for such team visit approval in the first place

Confusion has arisen over a Myanmar-led probe into the crimes against Rohingyas in Rakhine.

While Myanmar has recently claimed that its evidence collection team was waiting for Bangladesh’s approval to visit Cox’s Bazar, the later said Myanmar has made no formal request for such team visit approval in the first place.   

Speaking at the third committee of the UN general assembly on the secretary-general’s report on Myanmar on October 23, a Myanmar representative said that the Members of the Independent Commission of Enquiry of his country visited Bangladesh in August but are now waiting for Bangladesh to give the Commission’s Evidence Collection and Verification Team approval to visit Cox’s Bazar to interview alleged victims. 

Contacted, a senior foreign ministry official said, “This is nothing but a plan and simple lie. The Myanmar’s Independent Commission of Enquiry did not request for any approval for the visit of its evidence collection and verification team.”

“When the advance team visited Bangladesh in August, they requested for such a visit of the team that will interview and collect evidence from the Rohingyas and we agreed in principle. We also asked them to provide with the details of the team and their activities. We are yet to receive the details, let alone any request for approval of any visit,” he explained.

“This is another example of continued Myanmar lies to deceive the world community,” he added.

An advance team from the commission, jointly led by Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, a Japanese national, and Professor Dr Aung Tun Thet, a Myanmar citizen, visited Bangladesh from August 17 to 20, to lay the groundwork for the visit from the commission’s evidence collection and verification team.

The four-member commission, led by former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines Ambassador Rosario G Manalo, was established by the Myanmar government on July 18 last year. The commission is tasked with investigating allegations of human rights violations following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in the Rakhine State, with a view to ensuring accountability, peace, and stability in the region.  

Mya Theinn, another Myanmar national, is the fourth member of the commission.

Regarding the credibility of the commission, the diplomats said it is not that encouraging that the body has so far failed to gain the trust of most of the international communities.

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