The government of Myanmar is conducting an investigatory commission into violence there. (Reuters)
April 23, 2013
The United States has expressed concern over the situation of the minorities in the violence hit areas of Myanmar and asked it to take appropriate steps to prevent any further violence in the country.
“We remain concerned about instances of mob violence and violence directed against religious and ethnic minorities in Burma, and we continue to call on the Government of Burma to take appropriate steps to prevent further outbreaks of violence, provide protection and support to victims of violence, and facilitate regular, unhindered and timely humanitarian access to all internally displaced persons and others in need,” the State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, said yesterday.
The United States is one of the few countries in the world which identifies Myanmar as Burma, even as the name was changed more than a decade ago. United Kingdom is another country to do so.
“We have stressed to the government, religious leaders and representatives of civil society that respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, along with reintegration, redress and reconciliation, are the path forward to lasting peace in Burma,” Ventrell said in response to a question.
The US would continue its engagement with authorities in Myanmar, he said. “We also continue to urge the government to bring justice to affected communities, to address the root causes of this violence, and put in place mechanisms to prevent future outbreaks so that ethnic groups in Burma can coexist,” he said.
The government of Myanmar, he said, is conducting an independent investigatory commission into violence in Rakhine state, and are going to have a report soon, he said.
When specifically asked if the United States believes that ethnic cleansing has happened in the Rakhin State, Ventrell said the US is closely monitoring the situation. “We are aware of the reports. And the United States will continue to carefully monitor the situation and consider information as it becomes available. So we’re looking at the entire, broad body of information available and looking into any allegations when they arise,” he added.