The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to Myanmar, Mr. Thomas Quintana, says he has urged the parliament again to amend the 1982 MyanmarCitizenship Law to give equal citizen’s rights to all nationals.
He made the demand during a meeting with local and foreign media yesterday.
“Dialogues with mutual respect would not emerge as long as there are discriminations based onnational citizenship and faith,” Quintana said. “That’s why I want to reiterate that the parliamentshould amend the 1982 citizenship law so that everyone in the country can have equal rights to become citizens.”
He said he got no single word of promise to amend the law but urged government officials to continue possible measures to do that.
This is the seventh time the UN envoy has come to Myanmar. While in the country, he traveled to conflict areas and refugees camps in Rakhine and Kachin states and visited the prisons.
He also visited some political prisoners, one of whom was Dr Tun Aung from Sittwe Prison in Rakhine State. Dr Tun Aung is serving a 12-year jail term after being charged with his alleged involvement in the riots between Rakhine nationals and Bengalis in June last year.
“I assume he (Dr Tun Aung) is also a prisoner of conscience. We discussed that if he was released, how he would serve as a bridge to have negotiations between these two societies,” Quintana said.
He also expressed his disappointment over the government’s continued detention of four INGO staff members in Rakhine State without clear charges against them.
For the involvement in the Rakhine conflicts, 811 Bengalis and 137 nationals are under arrest but they don’t reportedly include women and children.
Tomas Ojea Quntana: We don’t want you. We want someone who respect Burmese and Buddhist values. Definitely, Tomas Ojea Quntana — it is not you.
Immigration Control, Corruption & Education in Burma