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HRW report could hurt reform: 88 Group

HRW report could hurt reform: 88 Group
MONDAY, April 29, 2013

The Human Rights Watch's "one-sided report" on the Rakhine conflict could affect democratic reform, the '88 Generation Students Group said.


The group made the comment during a meeting with two officials from the New York-based HRW in Yangon yesterday. 
The meeting was attended by Ko Ko Gyi and Pyone Cho from the ’88 Group and HRW officials Phil Robertson and Matthew Smith. 
The organisation issued a report last week accusing Myanmar authorities and Buddhist monks of “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in the western state of Rakhine, where two waves of communal violence broke out between Rakhine nationals and Rohingya Muslims last year.
Pyone Cho, the group’s human rights division in charge, said: “They [HRW officials] should have discussed with those responsible before the report was issued. Now, their act has exacerbated the problem.” 
He told the HRW officials they needed to produce a “correct report” considering the fact that Myanmar nationals live “peacefully”. 
 “There are some differences between their findings and ours concerning the Rakhine conflict. The HRW officials listened to our comments made in defence of the report. We also clarified on the situation of our national people,” Pyone Cho said. 
The ’88 Group issued a statement in which it said the rule of law and regional security should be considered as an issue of human rights for the victims and citizenship in Rakhine state. 
The HRW report did not include loses and suffering of Rakhine nationals and violations of their human rights. 
During the meeting, the ’88 Group said Myanmar had long suffered from human rights violations, the statement said. 
The HRW report on the Rakhine conflict has drawn widespread criticism from various fields in Myanmar since it was released on April 22. 
President Thein Sein’s spokesman Ye Htut dismissed the report on his Facebook page on the day of its release as “unacceptable to the Myanmar government”.