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UN Envoy Expresses Concern About Situation in Burma


A UN envoy has expressed concern about the situation in Burma. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, a special rapporteur on human rights in Burma, addressed the United Nations General Assembly Friday.

He said he has not been permitted to conduct a fact-finding mission in Burma in three years.

He also said the persecution of opposition members and human rights advocates in Burma is an obstacle to a transition to democracy.

The envoy said the stability of the country is not well-served by the detention of political leaders or severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms.

In response, a Burmese representative, U Win Mra, told the General Assembly that a report from Mr. Pinheiro on Burma lacks objectivity and contains unfounded allegations.

The representative also said Mr. Pinheiro has visited Burma on six occasions, with the government extending the fullest possible cooperation.

Pinheiro did note that the Burmese government has recently responded to a number of official communications. He expressed hope that the cooperation would include an invitation for a visit before his mandate ends.

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