Washington: The United States on Saturday said
it is prepared to support a UN-backed human rights probe in
Myanmar, after opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi urged such an
The United States "is committed to seeking
accountability for the human rights violations that have
occurred in Burma by working to establish an international
commission of inquiry," said the State Department, using the
older term for the Southeast Asian country.
"We are consulting closely with our friends, allies,
and other partners at the United Nations," US officials said
in the statement.
Suu Kyi, who was released in November after spending
most of the past two decades under house arrest, spoke by
video on Wednesday in a first-ever message to the US Congress,
a stronghold of support for the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
She asked lawmakers to do "whatever you can" to
support the work of the UN special rapporteur on human rights
in Myanmar and assured that a so-called commission of inquiry
would not be a tribunal.
The United States has publicly supported a UN-led
probe -- a longstanding demand of activists. But it has done
little to make it a reality, worrying its efforts would be
futile so long as Asian countries -- particularly China -- are
UN-led commissions of inquiry elsewhere in the world
have led to charges and prosecution, with Sudan`s President
Omar al-Bashir risking arrest if he travels to countries that
recognise the International Criminal Court.
Human rights groups say that Myanmar has a record of
severe human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings,
custodial deaths, torture and frequent rape of displaced women
from minority groups.