Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana
News - Burma News
Bangkok, 23 May 2011  (Download Statement as PDF)

This is the final day of my mission to Thailand which began on 16 May 2011. I visited Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Bangkok this time in my efforts to gather information about the situation inside Myanmar where I have not been able to visit. This information is important for preparation of my next report to the UN General Assembly later this year. I met with various stakeholders including civil society and community based organizations, experts, UN officials, and diplomats. I also met with the Foreign Minister of Thailand and Myanmar’s Ambassador to Thailand. I spoke with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by telephone.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution shortly after I presented my last report this March that asked me: “to provide an assessment of any progress made by the Government in relation to its stated intention to transition to a democracy to the General Assembly.”

My findings from this mission are that the situation of ethnic minority groups in the border areas presents serious limitations to the Government’s intention to transition to democracy.

Violence continues in many of these areas. Systematic militarization contributes to human rights abuses. These abuses include land confiscation, forced labor, internal displacement, extrajudicial killings and sexual violence. They are widespread, they continue today, and they remain essentially unaddressed by the authorities.

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Housing, Land and Property Rights and Development Briefing Paper for UN Special Procedures, Geneva offices Jan 2011 (BEWG Submission)
News - Burma News
Sunday, 06 March 2011 13:23

Housing, Land and Property Rights:  (Download Full Statement with Map ~1.8M) (Download Text Only ~.1M)

The Burmese government (SPDC) wields extraordinary power over Burma’s population, housing, land and property (HLP) through constitutionally guaranteed state ownership of “all lands, and all natural resources above and below the ground, above and beneath the water and in the atmosphere”1.2 In predominantly ethnic and contested areas of Burma, State sanctioned development projects pursued through militarization; foreign direct investment; unilateral government action without impact assessment, local stakeholder consultation or independent monitoring; and land and resource expropriation provide the SPDC with even further HLP control. Authoritarian and economically driven government control 3 of HLP comes at the expense of HLP rights for individuals and communities and results in human rights abuses and the direct contravention of Burma’s international treaty obligations.

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