UN envoy arrives in Myanmar to discuss human rights

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 20:23 (UTC +04:00)

A United Nations rapporteur arrived in Yangon Sunday to discuss human-rights concerns, diplomatic officials said, dpa reported.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, on his first mission to look at human rights in the country, is scheduled to be in Myanmar until Thursday.

Quintana was invited by the military government of Myanmar, which has ruled the country for more than four decades and does not consider human rights a top priority.

Quintana is expected to meet a number of government officials, heads of state institutions as well as ethnic groups, political parties, religious groups and non-governmental organizations.

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which employs the rapporteur, said he will visit Yangon and areas affected by the devastating Cyclone Nargis in May, Kayin state in the south-east and Rakhine state on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Special rapporteurs on human rights work independently and without pay, and they report back to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Ibrahim Gambari, the UN secretary general's special adviser, is scheduled to visit Myanmar in mid-August, a trip postponed from May because of the cyclone.

It will be his fourth trip to Myanmar in the past year to try to persuade the military government to institute democratic reforms and release political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the main opposition National League for Democracy.