Press Statement on the Second ministerial to advance religious freedom

Friday, July 19, 2019 - 15:15

The Embassy of Myanmar in Washington, DC expresses its deep disappointment on the statement on Myanmar issued by the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held in Washington, DC on July 18. Likewise last year, Myanmar was not invited to the meeting and therefore has been denied the chance to apprise the meeting on the true situation on the subjects contained in the statement. The Embassy of Myanmar underscores the rights of freedom of religion the people of Myanmar enjoy under the State Constitution. With regard to the subject of freedom of religion in Myanmar, Madame Sadako Ogata, the Independent Expert of the Commission on Human Rights, who made a fact-fmding mission to Myanmar in November 1990 described in her report to the Commission on Human Rights that "It was further stressed that there was total absence of discrimination based on religion. From the highest ranks of Government service and throughout the ranks of public service, the question of religion simply did not arise. The Independent Expert considers this to be undisputed fact and that Myanmar society may, in that respect, be a model society". Although Buddhism is the religion of the majority of the people, other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism coexist and flourish in Myanmar.
It is deeply regrettable that a group of people has misled the meeting on the situation of freedom of religion in Myanmar at the time the Government is working tirelessly on interfaith dialogue to promote peace and harmony among different communities in the country. With regard the situation in Rakhine State, it is the priority of the Government of Myanmar to bring peace, stability and development in the Rakhine State.
The Myanmar Government is putting its utmost efforts on repatriation of displaced persons from Rakhine State. Myanmar has signed Agreements with Bangladesh as well as Memorandum of Understanding with United Nations Agencies related to voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced persons from Rakhine State. As agreed under the Agreements, Myanmar was ready to receive the verified returnees since 23 January 2018. At the time the country is preparing for the 2020 election, responsible authorities are making necessary arrangements to ensure free and fair election that the citizens of Myanmar had witnessed and experienced in the past election. Notwithstanding, the difficulties and challenges that we are facing in our endeavours to promote enduring friendship and understanding with the United States, the Embassy of Myanmar will continue to work closely with all stakeholders in the United States to achieve our common goals.  
Notwithstanding, the difficulties and challenges that we are facing in our endeavours to promote enduring friendship and understanding with the United States, the Embassy of Myanmar will continue to work closely with all stakeholders in the United States to achieve our common goals.

Embassy of Myanmar, Washington, DC