News / Asia

Burma Disputes Allegation of Attack on UN Envoy

U.N. Human Rights envoy to Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana speaks during a press conference before he departs from Yangon International Airport Aug. 21, 2013.
U.N. Human Rights envoy to Burma Tomas Ojea Quintana speaks during a press conference before he departs from Yangon International Airport Aug. 21, 2013.
VOA News
Burma is disputing allegations that it failed to protect a U.N. envoy during his 10-day visit to the country this month.

A spokesman for Burmese President Thein Sein said Thursday that Tomas Ojea Quintana was never in any danger.

Spokesman U Ye Htut says the crowd in Meikhtila only approached his car to hand him a letter of protest.

He said. “Mr.Quintana's claim is quite different from the true situation, like his previous report. Security police has asked 300-400 protesters to disperse at night, and only 100 protesters were left on the bridge when he had arrived Meikhtila at 10:30 p.m. A security car from district police division escorted him, and around 20 police, including the township-level police commander, were on the spot for his security. We had provided enough security for him. One of the protesters just knocked his car's window to give him a letter from the residents. This is the true situation."

Before leaving Rangoon Wednesday, Quintana expressed his displeasure with the Burmese government.

He said, "The State has to protect me as a responsibility. This did not happen. The state failed to protect me."

No one is believed to have been injured in Monday's  incident.

During his tour of Rakhine state last week, Quintana visited camps for displaced Rohingya Muslims. He also met with members of the Rakhine Buddhist community as well as senior officials in the state government.

Violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine state last year killed more than 200 people and left 140,000 homeless.  A clash between police and members of the Rohingya community last week left at least one dead and several injured.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese Service

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