Amnesty International: Myanmar referendum flouts human rights
Amnesty International Friday criticized the decision by the military junta in Myanmar to go ahead with a constitutional referendum despite the cyclone disaster and said the new constitution was undermining human rights, reported the dpa.
"Despite the devastating consequences of Cyclone Nargis, which killed tens of thousands of people and displaced nearly a million more, Myanmar's government has announced that it will proceed with its plans for holding a national referendum regarding a new constitution," Amnesty said.
"Even as hundreds of thousands of its citizens struggle for basic shelter, food and health care, Myanmar's government has prioritized acceptance of the new constitution, a document that Amnesty International views as an effort to undermine respect for human rights and to entrench military rule and impunity."
Amnesty repeated its call on the military regime to cooperate with the international community in providing immediate relief to the neediest populations without regard for political considerations.
It urged the international community, and particularly Myanmar's neighbours, to keep their focus on "assisting Myanmar's beleaguered population and view the constitutional referendum process as another sign of the government's disregard for the well-being of its own people."
Amnesty International urged the international community not to endorse in any way the draft constitution, "which flouts international human rights standards."
The draft needed to be radically reformed or replaced, through a transparent, intimidation-free and truly inclusive process, Amnesty said.