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4/5/99:LETTER TO UN SEC-GEN KOFI AN
POSTED 10-MAY-99, 6:00AM
LETTER TO UN SECRETARY-GENERAL
Dr U Ne Oo
18 Shannon Place
Adelaide SA 5000
4 May 1999.
Mr Kofi Annan
The U.N. Secretary-General
United Nations New York NY 10017
re: The visit of Special Envoy to Burma
I am encouraged to learn that you will be sending Special Envoy, Mr de
Soto, to Burma to assist the implementation of General Assembly
resolution 53/162 and Commission on Human Rights resolution last month.
We the Burmese people appreciate the efforts of Commission on Human
Rights and the Special Rapporteur for compiling the reports and present
resolution on Burma. I am grateful to the Secretary-General also for
your continuing efforts, despite all difficulties, that have been made
to improve the situation in Burma.
As Secretary-General is aware, the military authorities have continue to
detain the elected representatives since last September. Unfortunately,
I have not seen any sign of the military junta moving towards a
dialogue. I continue to believe that the way forward for reconciliation
in Burma is the arrangement of a transitional government with the
elected representatives as Legislature and ruling military council as
Despite the difficulty to break the political stalemate in Burma, I
appeal the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy to pressure the
military junta to improve Burma's human rights and humanitarian
problems. I believe followings are the issues which require urgent
attention by the U.N. and international community.
1. Visit of Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Burma: The Special
Rapporteur, Mr Rajsoomer Lallah, has not been allowed to visit Burma
since his appointment in 1996. Therefore, the Special Envoy on his
forthcoming trip to Rangoon should request the Burmese authorities to
allow an immediate visit of Mr Lallah to various parts of Burma. There
are reports of serious human rights violation occuring in Shan State in
eastern Burma. There has also been continuing difficulty to solve
residual cases of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh that is linked to
citizenship issues. It is very important for Special Rapporteur to visit
Burma in order to investigate these human rights problems.
The Special Rapporteur, since 1996, has made several requests to
military authorities to visit Burma. If the Special Envoy on this trip
is unable to obtain permission for immediate visit of Mr Lallah to
Burma, the UN Commission on Human Rights should authorise Mr Lallah to
visit various areas in Burma without the permission of Burmese military
authorities. Other possible arrangement, such as Special Rapporteur Mr
Lallah to travel overland through Burmese border, may also be
2. Burma's Co-operation on eradicating illicit drugs: The Special Envoy
should urge the Burmese authorities to give unreserved co-operation in
eradicating opium poppy cultivation in Shan State. I have recently
suggested the United Nations and international community to initiate the
aerial spraying programs in Shan State.
3. Unrestricted access for various humanitarian organisations to Burma:
The Special Envoy should urge the Burmese military authorities allow
independent humanitarian organisations to operate freely in Burma,
especially in Shan and Kachin States. Reports indicate that there has
been uncontrolled spread of HIV/AIDS disease among the drug users in
these States. Furthermore, the humanitarian support for the
opium-growing hill farmers will be crucial to break the cycle of illicit
drug production in Shan State.
The Special Envoy should also pressure Burmese authorities to give
access to the UNHCR personnel to Karenni State, Karen State, Mon State
and Tanasserim Division. The UNHCR is currently operating on
Thailand-Burma border. The UNHCR must have access to both side of
Thailand-Burma border in order to make preparatory examination and to
co-ordinate safe and voluntary return of Burma's refugees.
4. Table a resolution at the UN Security Council: Upon drawing from our
experience, it probable that the persuasion by Special Envoy on above
matters will unlikely be successful. I therefore urge the U.N.
Secretary-General to prepare a Security Council resolution on Burma
regarding with above measures. In the event of the Special Envoy is
unable to secure any co-operation from Burmese junta, the
Secretary-General should formally put forward that resolution to all
members of UN Security Council, enabling these member states to take
appropriate action on Burma.
5. United Nations contact group for Burma: I appeal the
Secretary-General as well as the international community to make the
initiatives to form a UN Contact Group for Burma.
In closing, I thank the Secretary-General for your kind attention to
these matters. Continuing efforts by Secretary-General and the United
Nations to solve Burma's political and human rights problems are greatly
appreciated by the Burmese people.
Yours respectfully and sincerely
Sd. U Ne Oo
1. Hon. Rajsoomer Lallah, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, UN Centre
for Human Rights, CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland.
2. Hon. Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, US Department of State,
Washington DC 20520, U.S.A.
3. Ms Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Case Postale
2500, CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland.
4. Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Palias de Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.
EMAILS: drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx, uneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
POSTMAIL: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place, Adelaide SA 5000, AUSTRALIA
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