UN: Myanmar’s tit-for-tat reply to Pakistan’s plea for 1-minute silence on the Rohingyas

In a sharp reaction to Pakistan request to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to observe one-minute silence on first day of the 36th session to express solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar on 8 September urged the president of the HRC to instead observe one-minute silence ‘in honour’ of 11 security personnel and one immigration officer who were killed by terrorist group ‘Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on 25 August.

In a note verbal, Myanmar’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Hten Lynn said “If the Council is to observe a minute of silence, it should be done in honour of those who were fallen in safeguarding the sovereignty and maintaining law and order of the region in Myanmar while denouncing such terrorist act”.

Mr Lynn said that Pakistan’s request to HRC to observe the one-minute silence on so-called Rohingyas is “politically motivated” and “far from reality”.

Strongly objecting to Pakistan’s request, Mr Lynn further said “This should not happen throughout the 36th session of the HRC or anywhere else in the United Nations. It would only mislead the international community but even exacerbate the polarization between the communities in Rakhine State.”

Myanmar’s objection has come after Pakistan on behalf of the Orginsation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member States on the same day requested the president of the HRC to observe a “One-Minute Silence” to express solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims after the oral update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the opening day of the 36th Session of the HRC on Monday.

Pakistan had stated that “The atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims since last two weeks have been widely reported resulting in a humanitarian crisis with more than one hundred twenty thousand Rohingya Muslims been forced to flee to Bangladesh for refuge. Considering the alarming level of this human catastrophe, the OIC member States request for a ‘One-Minute Silence’.”

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