To Recognize and Repair: Unofficial Truth Projects and the Need for Justice in Burma

Media Release:

Date: 11 June 2015

ND-Burma releases its new report about acknowledgement and reparation for the crimes of the present and of the past.

ND-Burma releases its new report, titled “To Recognize and Repair: Unofficial Truth Projects and the Need for Justice in Burma,” focusing on the need for acknowledgement of human rights violations victims’ experiences and for addressing their needs through reparation policy.

This paper focuses on the extrajudicial killings, torture and land confiscation by government forces those are widespread in Burma. These three areas demonstrate the need to begin concrete discussions on how the government should be taking responsibility for reparations programs and taking steps to acknowledge and apologize for the crimes of the present and of the past.

UTP-report-cover-englishThe Government of Burma, despite its supposed transition to a quasi-civilian government in 2011, still includes many members of the former military regime. Abuses of civilians are still ongoing, as the case studies that ND-Burma documented demonstrate. Many people in positions of influence and power in the new government were a part of the military junta that brutally oppressed their people. The current regime has not ended these human rights abuses.

Lway Poe Ngel, Advocacy Program Officer said, “If a true transition to democracy was occurring, a drastic increase in the amount of substantive change being implemented would be evident”.

In this paper, ND-Burma suggests that the first step towards making this a meaningful transition and beginning to build trust is for the Government of Burma to publicly acknowledging past violations and recognize its responsibility to make amends for the suffering caused.

Moreover Han Gyi, ND-Burma Coordinator said “In the interests of a future united and free country, the current government needs to acknowledge human rights abuses, both in the distant past and those that are still ongoing. This report discusses international standards regarding the right to remedies and reparations”.

This report is a part of the Unofficial Truth Project, called “unofficial” because ND-Burma and its members are doing it themselves, not as a government-backed project. ND-Burma hopes one day the government will see the benefit of acknowledging the truth of past atrocities, through something like a truth commission. However, ND-Burma is not waiting for that to happen.

Transitional justice is an attempt to address the impact of past human rights violations to create a more peaceful, democratic and inclusive future. This is implemented through measures intended to provide accountability and transparency during transitions, provide redress for victims of past human rights abuses, and promote stable and sustainable peace and democracy.

More information please contact to;
Lway Poe Ngel
Phone: +95 (0) 9730 630 17

Han Gyi
Phone: +66 (0)8 196 159 92