The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Myanmar’s junta due at ICJ in bid to strike out Rohingya genocide case.

Myanmar’s military junta is expected to take part in hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week, in what critics see as an attempt to hijack the legitimate representation of the southeast Asian country – and shift public focus away from allegations of genocide against the Rohingya minority.

Starting on Monday, the hearings arise from an action filed in 2019 by The Gambia, backed by the 57-nation Organisation for Islamic Co-operation, which led to disgraced Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, then the country’s civilian leader, joining the military to personally petition judges to dismiss the genocide case.

Before the military staged a coup in February 2021, ousting their pro-tem ally Suu Kyi in the process, her government had already filed objections to the jurisdiction of the ICJ, a move regarded as attempt to delay consideration of the substantive genocide claim.

This week’s hearings are scheduled to address only the issue of the court’s jurisdiction.

More than 730,000 Muslim Rohingya fled Myanmar’s Rakhine province in 2017 after a campaign of violence by the military which UN investigators said had “genocidal intent” – but which Suu Kyi claimed had been sparked by “violence and fear on both sides”.

The Rohingya – who are denied citizenship in Myanmar – were forced into tent cities across the border around Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, creating the largest single refugee camp in the world.

In the absence of Suu Kyi, who is facing long jail terms on charges ranging from corruption to inciting dissent, junta representatives are expected to attend the virtual hearings at the ICJ even though the Myanmar military has no formal standing at the United Nations.

“The junta is not the government of Myanmar,” argues Christopher Sidoti, a human rights lawyer and former member of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar.

“It has neither the authority nor the ability to act in that capacity at home or abroad. But by appearing before the ICJ, the UN’s highest court, that is exactly what it will be attempting to do.”

The military coup last year was prompted by a general election in 2020 in which 70 per cent of voters rallied to Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy – a result the military claimed was rigged.

On that basis, says Tun Khin of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, the junta has absolutely no mandate to represent Myanmar.

“Myanmar’s people have clearly rejected the junta. The entire international community, including the ICJ, should hear this – and not lend it any form of legitimacy.”

The relationship between the ICJ and Myanmar is further complicated by the fact that although the junta apparently intends to continue to challenge the court’s entitlement to hear the genocide case, the country’s national unity government (NUG), including deposed politicians in exile, says it has withdrawn all such objections.

In a statement, the NUG also noted that as a result of “a bureaucratic idiosyncrasy”, the ICJ in The Hague had been communicating with Myanmar diplomats based in Brussels, who were, it said, “under the control of the junta”.

“Should the ICJ effectively recognise the military, it would embolden the junta to continue and escalate its daily atrocities,” it warned, urging the court to deal only with Myanmar’s permanent representative to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun.

This is an issue that has immediate practical importance as the ICJ hearings get under way, contends Marc Weller, professor of international law at Cambridge University.

As the principal judicial organ of the UN, the ICJ appears, Weller says, “to be out of step with other organs of the UN system which have condemned the coup and demanded a transfer of authority back to the elected legitimate government.

“It also raises important issues about the credibility of international law, including the presumption and principle of good faith on which it is based.”

Ironically, it’s understood that since it seized power, the junta has been engaging with the ICJ and providing the six-monthly reports ordered by judges in December 2019 as a means of monitoring the plight of the Rohingya. The court has apparently been accepting those reports, which are not made public.

Each year we start with a list of design trends that experts believe will dominate the next year’s projects. Of course, there are mistakes in such ...
Останні новини
Kuleba meets with Senegal’s economy minister

Kuleba meets with Senegal’s economy minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba discussed the development of cooperation in digital transformation, IT, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals with Minister of Economy of Senegal Oulimata Sarr.

UkrInform

FM Kuleba meets with President of Senegal

FM Kuleba meets with President of Senegal

At the meeting with President of Senegal Macky Sall, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba expressed his hope for building mutually respectful and trustworthy relations between the countries.

UkrInform

Demonstrator Cuts Hair in Madrid to Protest Iranian Woman’s Death #shorts.

Demonstrator Cuts Hair in Madrid to Protest Iranian Woman’s Death #shorts.

An emotional 32-year-old Iranian living in Madrid cut her hair, October 1, 2022, in support of Iranian women, and to condemn the death of Mahsa Amini. Singing Iranian songs and holding signs in support of women, dozens of protesters demanded freed...

Demonstrator Cuts Hair in Madrid to Protest Iranian Woman’s Death.

Demonstrator Cuts Hair in Madrid to Protest Iranian Woman’s Death.

An emotional 32-year-old Iranian living in Madrid cut her hair, October 1, 2022, in support of Iranian women, and to condemn the death of Mahsa Amini. Singing Iranian songs and holding signs in support of women, dozens of protesters demanded freed...

Expert says crowd who cheered Putin may be questioning his moves.

Expert says crowd who cheered Putin may be questioning his moves.

Angela Stent, who has written extensively about Russian President Vladimir Putin, discusses Putin declaring control over parts of Ukraine. #CNN #News

Biden admin needs to step in and stop this: Lt. Chris Olivarez

Biden admin needs to step in and stop this: Lt. Chris Olivarez

Texas Department of Public Safety’s Lt. Chris Olivarez discusses the ongoing immigration crisis and calls on the Biden administration to do more to stop drug dealers smuggling fentanyl into the country. Subscribe to Fox News!  Watch more Fox News ...

Ukraine Releases Video of Soldier Taking Down Sign from Lyman Station  #shorts.

Ukraine Releases Video of Soldier Taking Down Sign from Lyman Station #shorts.

Ukraine released video, October 1, 2022, of a soldier taking down a sign outside what it said showed a police station in Lyman. Ukrainian forces recaptured the key eastern city of Lyman, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, sending Russian soldiers fleein...

Whiskey Revival - VOA Connect

Whiskey Revival - VOA Connect

We go on a tour of local history as two residents of Washington, D.C. revive a whiskey brand from early in the last century, a journey that started with a home renovation in the 1980s. Originally published: » Subscribe to VOA News: » Watch more VO...