Search

 

Cablegate: Unhcr Cautious of Spdc Changes

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS RANGOON 001375

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, DRL, PRM
BANGKOK FOR POL HONNOLD
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PHUM PGOV BM
SUBJECT: UNHCR CAUTIOUS OF SPDC CHANGES

REF: A. RANGOON 1372 AND PREVIOUS
B. RANGOON 1136 AND PREVIOUS
C. STATE 184298

1. (SBU) Summary: UNHCR officials took the opportunity of a
senior-level visit to Burma to stress that the time was not
right for repatriation of Burmese refugees from Thailand.
However, they said that roving missions and assessments in
the eastern border regions were very important and would
continue. UNHCR is waiting to see if there will be any
impact of the SPDC's power shift on UNHCR's nascent efforts
in the East. End summary.

UNHCR Visitors Not Encouraging Repatriation

2. (U) UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner Kamel Morjane and
UNHCR Director for Asia and the Pacific Janet Lim visited
Burma from October 18-21 to assess UNHCR's longstanding
operations in northern Rakhine State and some tentative new
operations along the eastern border with Thailand. The two
officials traveled to Tanintharyi Division (near the Thai
border), met with GOB interlocutors and a dozen partner NGOs,
and briefed the Chief of Mission and other Rangoon diplomats
on October 20.

3. (SBU) Mr. Morjane stressed repeatedly that despite the
agency's expansion into eastern Burma (pursuant to a February
agreement with recently ousted PM Khin Nyunt; ref B) UNHCR
was not encouraging the return to Burma of some or all of the
estimated 133,000 refugees in Thailand. He said that surveys
by UNHCR's local staff, and his own trip, reinforced the fact
that the region was not ready socio-economically and the
logistical infrastructure was not in place for the return of
"even 1,000" refugees. The Chief of Mission noted these were
crucial topics to explain clearly to donors, and lauded local
UNHCR staff for getting the message across well over the last
several months.

4. (SBU) Mr. Morjane said, however, that it was important for
UNHCR to continue its "roving missions" to Karen and Mon
States and Tanintharyi Division to provide some basic
assistance and prepare a more in-depth assessment of the
region should the political conditions for return improve
suddenly. He indicated that UNHCR's NGO implementing
partners, after a "frank exchange of views," urged the UN
agency to continue its activities in Rakhine State and in the
eastern border area.

Worrisome Changes?

5. (SBU) Mr. Morjane did express some concern regarding the
recent power shift in the SPDC, which saw the ouster of
former Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt (ref A). Because
the UNHCR's access to the Thai border regions is based on an
accord signed with Khin Nyunt, there is some uncertainty
whether the agreement will outlive his prime ministership.
Mr. Morjane said UNHCR intended to lie low for the moment and
not press the issue.
Martinez

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>


Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>


Euro Med Monitor: Syria Cross-border Aid Mechanism Extension Is Necessary For The Survival Of Millions

Permanent members of the UN Security Council should extend the cross-border aid to northwestern Syria, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Tuesday in a statement...
More>>



UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>



Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>