Myanmar needs a neutral UN Special Rapporteur and not an anti-indigenous Yanghee Lee

Myanmar needs a neutral UN Special Rapporteur and not an anti-indigenous Yanghee Lee

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

It is abundantly clear that Buddhists, Hindus, and various indigenous ethnic groups have been targeted by ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) Islamist terrorists in Myanmar. At the same time, Bengali Muslims are focused on a land grab while ARSA attacks ordinary non-Muslim civilians in Rakhine. However, despite known massacres by Bengali Muslims against several religious and ethnic groups, it seems that the UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee, is intent on glossing over this by extremely passive language.

Indeed, Buddhists, Hindus, and other non-Muslims, in Rakhine (Myanmar) and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Bangladesh) know all about endless Bengali Muslim migration and Islamization by stealth. Despite this, the words and lack of denunciations against Bengali Muslims involved in massacres against various ethnic and religious groups in Rakhine – and ignoring the reality of what is happening in the Chittagong Hill Tracts – means that Yanghee Lee is tainted by bias and focusing on a narrow agenda against the indigenous.

Paritosh Chakma, the Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), is adamant that Yanghee Lee should be removed. The Director of this organization said, “While grave human rights violations in Myanmar must be addressed, the same must not be undermined by the bias of the Special Rapporteur.”

ACHR is alarmed that Yanghee Lee acknowledged that 6 Mro villagers, 5 ethnic Daingnets, and another 7 Mro villagers were all killed in three separate incidents in August. Yet, the UN Special Rapporteur did not name ARSA Bengali Muslims for these massacres. Of course, it later emerged that ARSA also killed Hindus and other massacres against non-Muslims equally became known. Therefore, if Yanghee Lee is glossing over massacres against several non-Muslim groups, then how is she impartial?

Indeed, why isn’t Yanghee Lee asking herself why Buddhists, Hindus, and others, all fear endless Bengali Muslim migration and attacks in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Rakhine? Likewise, why isn’t Yanghee Lee asking herself why Buddhists, Hindus, and several ethnic groups, all feel secure under the protection of the armed forces of Myanmar in Rakhine? Equally, how is it that only Bengali Muslims are feared by Buddhists, Hindus, the Mro, Daing-net, and others in Rakhine – just like in the Chittagong Hill Tracts?

Therefore, the government of Myanmar is correct to question the neutrality of Yanghee Lee. Also, the government of Myanmar is accountable to various groups in Rakhine who feel marginalized by the international media. Therefore, the indigenous of Rakhine doubt the sincerity of Yanghee Lee – who appears to be manipulating language when it comes to massacres committed by ARSA.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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