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President U Thein Sein ‘does not need to respond to lawsuit filed against him in US’

Myanmar President Thein Sein (C) gestures as he visits on U Paing Bridge in Mandalay, on 27 September 2015. Photo: Bo Bo/Mizzima

By Hein Ko Soe
October 5, 2015

U Zaw Htay, the director of Myanmar's President's Office, said the Myanmar government does not need to respond to the lawsuit filed by the Burma Task Force in the Manhattan federal court in the United States against President U Thein Sein over alleged discrimination against Bengalis.

“Whatever the court said, our country is an independent country, so the leader and the government do not need to deal with the case in which the ‘Myanmar-Bengali’ filed the lawsuit in court. There is no reason to respond to the summons, no reason to go there,” he said.

According to a report on Reuters: “The complaint filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal court accused Thein Sein and top officials of planning and instigating hate crimes and discrimination amounting to genocide” against Muslim Rohingya.

The Myanmar government refuses to use the word Rohingya, claiming the Muslim minority, living primarily in Rakhine State bordering Bangladesh, are illegal Bengalis.

“We did not receive any letter. Anyway, whether they send letter or not, our country is an independent country, so we reject the case. The lawsuit was filed by a Bengali group in exile led by Htay Lwin Oo. We heard that the court has accepted the case with two charges,” said U Zaw Htay.

Burma Task Force, comprised of 14 Muslim organizations in the US, filed the lawsuit against President U Thein Sein and other Myanmar leaders. Burma Task Force is a US-based organization which says it is combating discrimination against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and working to secure equal rights for them.

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