SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Late on Sunday, UN Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana landed in the country’s main city of Yangon for a visit, which includes a trip to the troubled Rakhine state in the west as well as meetings with Myanmar's president and members of civil society, AFP reported.
The visit came after the UN warned that the heavily-persecuted Rohingya Muslim community is living under dire conditions, facing threats of ethnic cleansing and state-sponsored violence.
"We have been receiving a stream of reports from independent sources alleging discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said in a statement on Friday.
Quintana has said that Myanmar, ruled by former Army Lieutenant General Thein Sein, who became president last year, is facing "ongoing human rights challenges."
Earlier in the month, Sein said the nearly-one-million-strong Rohingya population should be put in camps and sent across the border to Bangladesh.
"We will send them away if any third country would accept them," he announced on July 19. "This is what we are thinking is the solution to the issue."
The UN envoy will meet Sein in Naypyidaw on Friday following a tour of the Rakhine state.
"We do not know what they will discuss. But, of course, the Rakhine state situation will be the main issue," a Myanmarese government official said.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, whom, it claims, are not natives and classifies them as illegal migrants, although, the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pashtun origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the eighth century.
The UN says decades of discrimination have left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education, and public services from them. The world body has also described the Muslim community as the Palestine of Asia and one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.—www.shafaqna.com/english