UN Envoy blocked from visiting conflict area in Shan State

During her visit to Shan State last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, was prevented from traveling to areas in the state where rights violations are thought to have taken place for what officials claimed were “security reasons”.
Photo by UN: UN Envoy Yanghee Lee visiting IDP in Kachin State last week
Yanghee Lee, a South Korean academic, had originally planned to visit conflict and war-affected areas in both Kachin State and the northern Shan State during her 12-day visit to Burma but she was prevented from doing this in both states.

“She wants to go to areas like Kyaukme and Kutkai that have many war refugees. The government said this morning that she can’t go due to security reasons,” a person who met with Yanghee Lee said on June 21 when he was contacted by S.H.A.N.

Heavy clashes have taken place between the Burma Army and ethnic armed groups in Shan State in May in the areas Yanghee Lee wanted to visit. Charred human remains have been found in many of these areas. Man Pain village, a Kachin village in the Mong Koe area located east of Kutkai, was also set on fire.

Although she has been restricted from visiting much of northern Shan State, during her visit to Lashio she promised civil society organizations that she would thoroughly study the record of human rights violations submitted by these groups and submit a report to the UN, according to civil society organizations that have met with Yanghee Lee.

“Besides the human rights situation, we also submitted [information] on the situation of education and health,” said Yein Han Pha from the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN).

The Shan Youth Network was included among the organizations that met the UN Special Rapporteur and it submitted information about conflicts in the Shan State, the vandalism of signboards that have been written in the Shan language and how human rights violations still exist after the new government took office, explained Sai Aung Myint Oo from the Shan Youth Network Yangon.

The UN Special Rapporteur began her trip on June 20th and will depart on July 1st.  
BY: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)


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