Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen’s Irish government has joined a growing list of Eurpoean Union and other countries voicing support for a UN inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Burma’s ruling junta.
In an e-mail sent to Mizzima in which it was confirmed Ireland supports such a UN commission of inquiry, an Irish Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson wrote: “We remain actively engaged at national, EU and international level in monitoring the situation in Burma and in our efforts to support the Burmese people in their struggle for democracy and human rights.”
In March, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council, which stated that in Burma there existed a pattern of “gross and systematic” human rights abuses that suggested the abuses were a state policy that involved authorities at all levels of the executive, military and judiciary. It also stated that the “possibility exists that some of these human rights violations may entail categories of crimes against humanity or war crimes under the terms of the [Rome] Statute of the International Criminal Court”.
He urged the UN to look further into rights abuses committed by the Burmese regime and consider launching a “commission of inquiry with a specific fact-finding mandate to address the question of international crimes”.
Ireland sees ‘no indication’ that regime listening to international criticism
Bane, also told Mizzima that it was the view of Dublin that at this point “there are no indications” that the Burmese regime had responded to calls by representatives of the Irish government “for the release without delay of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi and for the initiation of a process of national dialogue and reconciliation, involving all opposition and ethnic groups, in advance of the elections”.