UN envoy Yanghee Lee told about continued human rights abuses in Shan State

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Representatives from a Shan civic group say they briefed Yanghee Lee, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Burma, on Saturday about ongoing human rights violations in Shan State.

Representatives from Tai Youth Network (TYN) met with UN envoy Ms Yanghee Lee on July 15 in Lashio Township, northern Shan State.

Sai Naw Seng, an executive member of the Tai Youth Network (TYN), an umbrella organization comprising youth groups from across Burma, said that he and his colleagues met with Ms Lee at Golden Hill Hotel in northern Shan State’s Lashio Township on July 15.

“We told her about last year’s Mong Yaw murder case,” he said. “And about the situation of villagers in Namtu who cannot go home at present because of continued hostilities in their areas.”

He said he also briefed the UN envoy about land violations concerning the coal mining industry in Nam Ma and Mong Kung, and noted that villagers’ lands were confiscated by the Burmese military in Kehsi Township.

The Shan activist said: “We also told her about the case in Yangon in December 2006 when fake protesters turned out in ethnic costumes to purportedly show their support for the Burmese military. Also, we mentioned a recent incident in which a famous Burmese actress wore ethnic costume in her play and was depicted as an alcoholic, a stereotype that was damaging to the image of highland peoples in Burma.”

Speaking to Shan Herald, he added: “We also told her that we believed that native ethnic languages should be taught during school’s hour.

“With regard to those issues, she [UN envoy Lee] told us that she will talk to the government.”

Lee is on her sixth visit to Burma, staying from 10 to 21 July, and is slated to visit Rakhine, Shan and Kayin States, as well as Yangon and Naypyidaw.

By Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)

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