Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Geneva [Switzerland], March 20 (ANI): India showed concern about some unwarranted references to India in a report by a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

It told the UN Human Rights Council about New Delhi's commitment to strengthening the democratic process in its neighbouring country.

A report by Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews released on March 9 said that the Indian government has sought to prevent refugees (from Myanmar) fleeing violence and human rights violations from entering India. It also blamed India for pushing back Myanmar refugees.

In its statement after an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council on Monday, Thulasidass, an Indian diplomat said, "India takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur. We are, however, concerned about some unwarranted references to India in the report. These go beyond the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Such remarks do not contribute to improving the situation in Myanmar and undermine India's efforts towards peace and stability in Myanmar".

He added, "The deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Myanmar has direct implications for India. We share a more than 1700 km long porous border with Myanmar. The ongoing situation has led to an influx of more than 50,000 people from Myanmar into India.""In addition, there is a significant rise in cross-border criminal activities like drug trafficking and arms smuggling. Despite these concerns, India is one of the very few countries which has allowed Myanmar nationals to take shelter", he told the Council.

Thulasidass said that India also remains committed to strengthening the democratic process in Myanmar. "We have worked with various stakeholders to develop capacities in areas of democratic systems and practices. We have renewed these efforts, including in building capacities in areas of constitutionalism and federalism", he said.

India has been extending assistance in kind to Myanmar through various connectivity projects, infrastructure projects, capacity-building initiatives, developmental projects under the Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP), Border Area Development Programme etc.

"During the COVID pandemic, India had extended COVID-related medical assistance to Myanmar consisting of medical equipment, medicines and other supplies to Myanmar".

"As regards the issue of the repatriation of displaced persons from the Rakhine state, as a neighboring country to both Bangladesh and Myanmar, we have high stakes in resolving this issue. It is important that our ongoing efforts towards safe, speedy and sustainable repatriation of displaced persons from Bangladesh to the Rakhine State of Myanmar are not undermined. We will continue to support the endeavors of the Government of Bangladesh and will continue to build capacities in the Rakhine State", he told the Council. (ANI)

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