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Dear Dr U Ne Oo,

I don't think the resignation of the Special Rapporteur will have much impact
on the current Burma resolution at the General Assembly. The Swedish diplomat
drafting the resolution received the advance copy of the Special 
Rapporteur's report
mid- September, and Judge Lallah's findings were incorporated into the draft
several weeks ago. Besides, the resolution had already been tabled before the
announcement  of his resignation was made.  What is important now is that the
next Special Rapporteur to be appointed by the Commission on Human  Rights
is a good strong one.

Regarding the general question of UN resolutions on Burma,  the NCGUB and 
friends have
done a very fine professional job over most of the past decade, bringing 
delegations to Geneva
and New York for every session. They have worked with the diplomats to get 
the strongest
language possible into the text. Any weaknesses in language are due to the 
limitation of the
powers and mandate of the General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights 
-- there are
things that these bodies are not empowered to do -- and the need to get 
every State to agree
to the text, thus achieving what is called a "consensus resolution". As you 
can imagine,  there
are several governments which might call for a vote if their suggestions 
for more moderate language
were not accepted. Stronger language could certainly be included in 
a  voted resolution, but
such a  resolution would have less moral and,  perhaps, political authority 
since it can be
argued that  a voted resolution is not the voice of  the whole of 
the  international  community
whereas a  consensus text certainly is. Still, in my view, the language is 
strong, and
has been getting stronger every year. Credit for this can be given to Dr 
Sein Win and team, the
Special Rapporteur, the diplomats and, not least, the SLORC/SPDC human 
rights record which
gets worse every year.

Yours sincerely,

David Arnott, Geneva

At 04:54 PM 11/5/00 +1030, Dr U Ne Oo wrote:
>Posted Sun 5 Nov 2000; 4:00pm
>It is disturbing to learn that the Special Rapporteur for Human
>Rights, Judge Rajsoomer Lallah, has resigned from his post, citing
>'lack of financial and administrative support' towards his work. The
>timing for his resignation have been terribly bad: on the eve of
>drafting the General Assembly Resolution on Burma. Throughout these
>years, there were no shortage of instances of our democracy and human
>rights movement being 'bullied' especially at the United Nations
>General Assembly. The General Assembly should have been putting a
>finer details that would be needed to further the cause of democracy
>in Burma -- a task of which the Special Rapporteur Rajsoomer may be
>the only competent person to do. Otherwise, the UN bureaucrats would
>only be re-generating previous years' resolution with out having much
>sense or sensitivity of the current situation in Burma.
>Lets hope it is not too late to salvage this situation at the UNGA.
>Regards, U Ne Oo.
>Subject: U.N. human rights expert on Myanmar resigns
>    Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2000 20:29:42 +0100
>    From: David Arnott <darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>U.N. human rights expert on Myanmar resigns
>AP, Geneva,  3 November 2000.The United Nations human rights expert on
>Myanmar has resigned, citing lack of assistance from the world body, a
>spokesman said Friday.
>Rajsoomer Lallah had sent a letter of resignation Thursday, said Jose
>Diaz, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
>''I believe he expressed some frustration with the secretarial support
>that he was getting and also he seems to have expressed frustration as
>well with the little change that he has seen in the country that he
>follows,'' Diaz said.
>Lallah, the former Chief Justice of Mauritius, was appointed to the
>post in June 1996 to replace Japanese Yozo Yokota, who left claiming
>he did not have the resources to carry out his work.
>U.N. rights experts do not receive salaries, but the United Nations
>pays for expenses and provides help with translation and preparing
>In a report to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Lallah said that
>the human rights situation in Myanmar continues to deteriorate with
>the military government suppressing all opposition political activity
>and engaging in ''inhuman treatment'' of opposition members and ethnic
>Myanmar, also known as Burma, has never allowed Lallah to visit.
>Subject: Sweden Submits Resolution Condemning Burma Junta To U.N
>    Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2000 17:50:53 +0900
>    From: "koko" <koko@xxxxxxx>
>Sweden Submits Resolution Condemning Burma Junta To U.N
>NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Bernama-Kyodo) - Sweden has submitted to a U.N. human
>rights committee a draft resolution blasting Burmese junta for its
>treatment of pro-democracy supporters and other human rights
>violations, U.N. sources said.
>The resolution, submitted Thursday to the Third Committee of the
>Millennium General Assembly, urges the junta to remove ''all
>restrictions on Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's and other National League for
>Democracy (NLD) members' freedom of movement.''
>Suu Kyi, the head of the NLD, is prevented from leaving Rangoon by the
>military government.
>The draft is expected to be approved by the committee next week, the
>sources said. The committee, which handles social, humanitarian and
>cultural issues, is headed by Yvonne Gittens-Joseph from Trinidad and
>The resolution states that the U.N. General Assembly ''deplores the
>continuing violations of human rights in Burma,'' including
>extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and the denial of
>freedom of assembly, association, expression and movement.
>It says the assembly ''expresses its grave concern at the increasingly
>systematic policy...to persecute the democratic opposition, NLD
>members and sympathizers and their families, as well as ethnic
>opposition parties.''
>It also said the junta has failed to cease the widespread and
>systematic use of forced labor of its own people and to meet the
>International Labour Organisation's (ILO) recommendations on this
>''This failure has compelled the ILO to strictly limit further
>cooperation with the Burmese government'' the draft said.
>EMAILS: druneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,netipr@xxxxxxxxxxxx
>         drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx,uneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>POST: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place, Adelaide SA 5000, AUSTRALIA
>http://freeburma.org http://www.angelfire.com/al/homepageas/index.htm