UN rapporteur meets peace-keepers in Mandalay

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Burma, Yanghee Lee, was presented with findings from an inquiry into Mandalay’s communal violence, as she visited the city on Wednesday.

In the morning, Lee visited the site of the unrest that shook the city on 1 July.

Violence broke out between Muslim and Buddhist populations after a rumour spread throughout the town that the Muslim owner of a teashop had raped a Buddhist woman.

Two people were killed and around 20 injured in the ensuing days of violence.

After visiting Mandalay’s Chan Aye Tharzan Township, Lee met with several local government officials, NGOs and religious leaders.

During a meeting with the Mandalay City Peace-keeping Committee (MCPC), an independent multi-faith group established in the wake of the riots, representatives share their findings with the rapporteur. The findings, which have not been publicly disclosed, were gathered through independent, non-governmental inquiries into the events.

“The UN delegation promised that they will cooperate with us and that they will forward our findings to the government, the United Nations and international governments,” said Thein Than Oo, a supreme court lawyer and member of the MCPC.

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“We will cooperate with any organisation, including the government and people of any religion to maintain tranquility in the city,” he added.

Lee’s ten day trip has taken her from Rangoon, where she met with members of Burma’s National Human Rights Commission and visited Insein prison, to Arakan and Kachin states, where she visited displacement camps.

Lee arrived in Naypyidaw on Thursday.

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