Myanmar's government on Saturday rejected remarks by a U.N. human rights official suggesting that the authorities bear some blame for recent mob attacks by Buddhists on minority Muslims that killed dozens of people.
The U.N. official, Tomas Ojea Quintana, urged Myanmar's government on Friday to investigate allegations that security forces watched as Buddhist mobs attacked Muslims. He also said the government needed to do more to protect the country's Muslims.
Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut said on his Facebook page Saturday that he "strongly rejected" the comments by Quintana, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar.
Ye Htut, who is also the presidential spokesman, wrote that it was "saddening that Mr. Quintana made his comments based on hearsay without assessing the situation on the ground."
He added that such remarks amounted to ignoring efforts by the government, security personnel, religious leaders and civil society organizations trying to restore order.