Written by U Ne Oo on 1999-05-04
Dr U Ne Oo
18 Shannon Place
Adelaide SA 5000
4 May 1999.
Mr Kofi Annan
The U.N. Secretary-General
United Nations New York NY 10017
re: The visit of Special Envoy to Burma
I am encouraged to learn that you will be sending Special Envoy,
Soto, to Burma to assist the implementation of General Assembly
53/162 and Commission on Human Rights resolution last month. We
people appreciate the efforts of Commission on Human Rights and
Rapporteur for compiling the reports and present resolution on
am grateful to the Secretary-General also for your continuing
despite all difficulties, that have been made to improve the
As Secretary-General is aware, the military authorities have continue to detain the elected representatives since last September. Unfortunately, I have not seen any sign of the military junta moving towards a dialogue. I continue to believe that the way forward for reconciliation in Burma is the arrangement of a transitional government with the elected representatives as Legislature and ruling military council as Executive branch.
Despite the difficulty to break the political stalemate in Burma, I appeal the e difficulty to break the political stalemate in Burma, I appeal the Secretary-General and the Special Envoy to pressure the military junta to improve Burma's human rights and humanitarian problems. I believe followings are the issues which require urgent attention by the U.N. and international community.
1. Visit of Human Rights Special Rapporteur to
The Special Rapporteur, Mr Rajsoomer Lallah, has not been
allowed to visit
Burma since his appointment in 1996. Therefore, the Special
Envoy on his
forthcoming trip to Rangoon should request the Burmese
authorities to allow
an immediate visit of Mr Lallah to various parts of Burma. There
of serious human rights violation occuring in Shan State in
There has also been continuing difficulty to solve residual
cases of Rohingya
refugees in Bangladesh that is linked to citizenship issues. It
important for Special Rapporteur to visit Burma in order to
these human rights problems.
The Special Rapporteur, since 1996, has made several requests to military authorities to v to military authorities to visit Burma. If the Special Envoy on this trip is unable to obtain permission for immediate visit of Mr Lallah to Burma, the UN Commission on Human Rights should authorise Mr Lallah to visit various areas in Burma without the permission of Burmese military authorities. Other possible arrangement, such as Special Rapporteur Mr Lallah to travel overland through Burmese border, may also be considered.
2. Burma's Co-operation on eradicating illicit drugs: The Special Envoy should urge the Burmese authorities to give unreserved co-operation in eradicating opium poppy cultivation in Shan State. I have recently suggested the United Nations and international community to initiate the aerial spraying programs in Shan State.
3. Unrestricted access for various humanitarian
to Burma: The Special Envoy should urge the Burmese
allow independent humanitarian organisations to operate freely
especially in Shan and Kachin States. Reports indicate that
there has been
uncontrolled spread of HIV/AIDS disease among the drug users in
Furthermore, the humanitarian support for the opium-growing hill
will be crucial to break the cycle of illicit drug production in
The Special Envoy should also pressure Burmese authorities to give access to the UNHCR personnel to Karenni State, Karen State, Mon State and Tanasserim Division. The UNHCR is currently operating on Thailand-Burma border. The UNHCR must have access to both side of Thailand-Burma border in order to make preparatory examination and to co-ordinate safe and voluntary return of Burma's refugees.
4. Table a resolution at the UN Security Council: Upon drawing from our experience, it probable that the persuasion by Special Envoy on above matters will unlikely be successful. I therefore urge the U.N. Secretary-General to prepare a Security Council resolution on Burma regarding with above measures. In the event of the Special Envoy is unable to secure any co-operation from Burmesel Envoy is unable to secure any co-operation from Burmese junta, the Secretary-General should formally put forward that resolution to all members of UN Security Council, enabling these member states to take appropriate action on Burma.
5. United Nations contact group for Burma: I appeal the Secretary-General as well as the international community to make the initiatives to form a UN Contact Group for Burma.
In closing, I thank the Secretary-General for your kind attention to these matters. Continuing efforts by Secretary-General and the United Nations to solve Burma's political and human rights problems are greatly appreciated by the Burmese people.
Yours respectfully and sincerely
Sd. U Ne Oo
1. Hon. Rajsoomer Lallah, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, UN Centre for Human Rights, CH-1211 Geneva 10 Switzerland.
2. Hon. Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, US Department of State, Washington DC 20520, U.S.A.
3. Ms Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Case Postale 2500, CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Swit500, CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland.
4. Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Palias de Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.