Nepal must raise Rohingya crisis issue, say human rights activistsMyanmar Army chief Min Aung Hlaing is visiting Nepal starting Sunday on the official invitation of the Nepal Army.
Myanmar Army chief Min Aung Hlaing is visiting Nepal starting Sunday on the official invitation of the Nepal Army.
The visit comes amid criticism faced by Myanmar for its treatment to Rohingya Muslims, who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the wake of a military-led crackdown.
Rights activists in Nepal have said the government authorities, through Aung Hlaing during his visit to Kathmandu, should draw Myanmar’s attention to the international human rights laws and press for an independent probe into the violence against Rohingya Muslims.
According to Nepal Army Spokesperson Brig Gen Nain Raj Dahal, Gen Aung Hlaing during his visit to Nepal is set to meet President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Defence Minister Bhimsen Das Pradhan among other senior government officials.
“The President and the prime minister should take this opportunity to draw Myanmar’s attention to international human rights laws. They should also prod Myanmar to conduct an independent investigation into violence against Rohingya Muslims,” human rights activist Govinda Bandi told the Post.
United Nations member states early this week said that Myanmar was likely committing “crimes against humanity” against its Rohingya minority, with UN rights chief voicing alarm over possible “elements of genocide”.
The crackdown in Myanmar has forced some 626,000 people to flee from northern Rakhine state and across the border into squalid camps in Bangladesh in recent months. After a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday in Geneva, member states had overwhelmingly voted in favour of a resolution expressing grave concern over widespread abuses committed against the largely Muslim minority in Myanmar. Thirty-three of the council’s 47 members backed the text listing a long line of horrific abuses, including summary killings of children, rape, torture and large-scale forced displacement, which it said indicated “the very likely commission of crimes against humanity”, the AFP news agency reported.
For Nepal, it becomes so more pertinent to raise the issue of human rights violations under its international obligations, as it has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council for a term of two years starting January 1.
The Nepal Army in a statement said the official visit of the Myanmar army chief is to observe successful integration of the former Maoist rebels into the national defence force, the Army’s contribution in Nepal’s earthquake recovery and in the United Nations through peacekeeping missions.
An Army general, however, said there must be a clear national policy in place when it comes to visits—be it of chiefs of security forces or political leaders or heads of state—and the country must thoroughly assess the significance of such visits and the impact they can make.