We, the Canadian Burma Ethnic National Organization supports the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Burma [Myanmar] and support its recommendations. The Fact-Finding Mission found evidence of “genocidal intent” in relation to Rakhine State particularly to Rohingya people and “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes” in the systematic patterns of human rights violations against Kachin, Shan, Ta’ang and other ethnic minorities in Kachin and Shan states.
The report makes the case that top figures in the Burmese military’s chain of command including the Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing should be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) or special criminal tribunal should be set up to determine their liability for genocide. Today’s verdict sentencing the two Reuters reporters to 7 years in prison for their investigative journalism is outrageous and another overwhelming reason pointing to an utter lack of rule of law in Burma and why a domestic mechanism will not bring truth and justice.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has made calls for independent investigation into accusations of human rights violations in Burma. To date, domestic mechanisms implemented by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government have failed to deliver any independent or substantive result, indicating both a lack of power and political will to enforce any accountability for the grave human rights abuses committed in Burma. We have lost trust and confidence in both the State Counsellor and the NLD government. They have not only failed to protect ethnic and religious minorities— by failing to seek international and independent mechanisms available to stop the military, they have enabled the Military to continue its campaign of terror against these communities.
International mechanisms for accountability such as those outlined in the Fact-Finding Mission’s report are necessary to end this impunity, to hold perpetrators to account, and to provide long-awaited justice to the victims. Members of the international community— including the United State of America, Canada, UK and EU member countries, namely Germany and France as well as China and Russia as the permanent members of the UNSC—must demand and provide support for a transparent and accountable international mechanism to confront this issue.
Therefore, we urge the following actions:
• Countries around the world to adopt comprehensive sanctions against Myanmar state as well as imposing an arms embargo.
• To stop violence by holding the Burmese military accountable for all forms of human rights violations, including “killings, sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearances, forced labour, land grabbing, and the burning of villages.
• To act through transparent and accountable international mechanisms, up to and including the International Criminal Court, or special criminal tribunal.
• To document and recognize the NLD government’s denial, failings to protect innocent civilians and collaboration with Burmese military.
• To provide compensations, psychosocial support and other assistance to support survivors of human rights violations, by setting up a trust fund, in consultation with the victims.
Canadian Burma Ethnic Nationalities Organization
Pri Lahtaw (514) 791-1630 (English)
Pu Hau Suan Mung (778) 233-6891 (Burmese)
Download this statement HERE.