Bangladesh gives opinion to International Criminal Court on Myanmar’s trial over Rohingya

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam confirmed this to on Thursday.

He said it is in fact mandatory on Bangladesh to respond as it is a member of the Rome Statute.

“We have provided the information only as requested by the court,” he said, adding that Bangladesh is still committed to settle the matter “bilaterally”.

He pointed out that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina floated a five-point plan in New York last year “which is still on the table and we are committed”.

The ICC last month wrote to Bangladesh asking for its opinion on whether The Hague-based court has jurisdiction to run a case against its neighbour.

Myanmar is not a member of the criminal court.

The letter from the pre-trial chamber followed Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s application on Apr 9 when she asked the ICC to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over the deportations of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a possible crime against humanity.

The pre-trial chamber 1 in the letter, a copy of which was with, invited the competent authorities of Bangladesh to submit written observations, either publicly or confidentially, on the three specific matters.

Those are:

(i) The circumstances surrounding the presence of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar on the territory of Bangladesh;

(ii) The possibility of the Court’s exercise of territorial jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar into Bangladesh; and

(iii) Any other matter in connection with the prosecutor’s request that, in the opinion of the competent authorities of Bangladesh, would assist the Chamber in its determination of this Request.

“We have provided all the information they asked for and everything that we know from our experience,” State Minister Shahriar Alam said when asked, without clarifying whether Bangladesh suggested that the ICC try Myanmar.

He said Bangladesh “is a responsive and responsible state. Our action always guided by universal values and laws”.

Officials, however, earlier indicated that Bangladesh would cite precendences in which ICC tried non-members being recommended by the UN Security Council.

It happened in cases of Darfur in Sudan and Libya, paving the way for the trial Omar Al-Bashir and Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier, Myanmar government expressed “serious concern” on the news about the application by the ICC prosecutor.

Since August last year, nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar, the United Nations and aid agencies have said.

The refugees have reported killings, rape and arson on a large scale. The United States and the United Nations have described the situation as ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar has denied nearly all allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation.

The government has said the army crackdown was provoked by the attacks of Rohingya militants on more than two dozen police posts and an army base last August.

An ICC ruling affirming jurisdiction could pave the way for Prosecutor Bensouda to investigate the deportation of many thousands of Rohingya.

“This is not an abstract question but a concrete one, affecting whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction … to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute,” Bensouda said in the filing.

The main reason for doubts about the jurisdiction is that while Bangladesh is a member of the court, but Myanmar is not.

Bensouda argued that given the cross-border nature of the crime of deportation, a ruling in favour of ICC jurisdiction would be in line with established legal principles.

The court said the observations of the Bangladesh authorities would assist the chamber in its determinations of the request sub judice.

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China Blasts US for Flying B-52 Bombers Near Disputed Islands

China blasted the United States Tuesday for flying a pair of B-52 bombers near disputed islands in the South China Sea, further fueling tensions between the two countries.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the U.S. of “stirring up trouble” and warned “China will not be threatened by any military warships.” Hua said China would do whatever is necessary to protect its sovereignty.
The bombers flew near Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines six years ago. The flyby occurred after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis accused China of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea.
Beijing claims most of the sea, which has a wealth of resources and some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The neighboring countries of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims to the sea.
Mattis said at a security conference in Singapore last weekend that China has deployed anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed islands. Mattis promised the region would remain a “priority theater” for U.S. military forces and added the U.S. was willing to develop a “results-oriented” relationship with China
Despite escalating tensions, Mattis is expected to visit China, at China’s invitation, on a date that has yet to be announced.
China’s Defense Ministry has said it hoped for more interaction with the U.S. military.
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ပညာတတ္ေတြကို ပစ္မွတ္ထားတိုက္ခိုက္ေၾကာင္း ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာေတြ ေျပာၾကား

၂ဝ၁၆ ၾသဂုတ္လက ARSA အၾကမ္းဖက္ တိုက္ခိုက္မႈေတြေနာက္ပိုင္း နယ္ေျမရွင္းလင္းေရး လုပ္ေဆာင္ရာမွာ ျမန္မာလံုျခံဳေရး တပ္ေတြအေနနဲ႔ ပညာတတ္ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာေတြကို ပစ္မွတ္ထား ေခ်မႈန္းခဲ့တယ္လုိ႔ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ ဒုကၡသည္ စခန္းေတြမွာ ေနထိုင္တဲ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ေတြရဲ႕ ေျပာၾကားခ်က္ေတြကို ကိုးကားၿပီး AP သတင္းဌာနက ဒီေန႔ ေရးသားလိုက္ပါတယ္။

ဒီလုိပညာတတ္ေတြကို ပစ္မွတ္ထား တိုက္ခိုက္ခဲ့တာကို လူ ၁၂ ဦးေက်ာ္က AP ကို ေျပာျပခဲ့တယ္လုိ႔လည္း သတင္းမွာ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။ နယ္ေျမရွင္းလင္းေရး လုပ္ေဆာင္ရာမွာ ေက်းရြာတစ္ရြာဝင္ရင္ ျမန္မာ လံုျခံဳေရး တပ္သားေတြအေနနဲ႔ ေက်ာင္းဆရာေတြကို ပထမဆံုးေခၚယူေၾကာင္းလည္း ဒုကၡသည္ေတြရဲ႕ ေျပာၾကားခ်က္ေတြနဲ႔ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။

ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ႏွစ္ စက္တင္ဘာလက ထုတ္ျပန္တဲ့ ကုလသမဂၢ ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားဆိုင္ရာ မဟာမင္းႀကီးရံုး UNHCR က ထုတ္ျပန္တဲ့ အစီအရင္ခံစာမွာ ေတြ႔ဆံုေမးျမန္းခဲ့တဲ့ လူ ၆၅ ဦးခန္႔က လံုျခံဳေရးတပ္ေတြအေနနဲ႔ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အသံုး အနႈန္းနဲ႔သမိုင္း၊ ယဥ္ေက်းမႈစတာေတြကို ေဖ်ာက္ဖ်က္ႏုိင္ေအာင္ ေက်ာင္းဆရာေတြ၊ ဘာသာေရးေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြနဲ႔ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာအသိုင္းဝိုင္းေပၚ ၾသဇာရွိသူေတြကို ပစ္မွတ္ထားေလ့ရွိတယ္လုိ႔ ထြက္ဆိုခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

ဒီသတင္းနဲ႔ပတ္သက္လုိ႔ AP သတင္းဌာနက ျမန္မာ့တပ္မေတာ္ကို ေမးျမန္းရာမွာ အမည္ရာထူး မေဖာ္ျပလိုတဲ့ အရာရွိတစ္ဦးက ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံမွာ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ိဳးမရွိတဲ့အတြက္ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာအသံုးအႏႈန္းကို လက္မခံေၾကာင္း၊ နယ္ေျမ ရွင္းလင္းေရး စစ္ဆင္ေရးေတြမွာ ပညာတတ္ေတြကို ပစ္မွတ္ထားတိုက္ခုိက္တယ္ဆိုတာ မဟုတ္မွန္ေၾကာင္း ျငင္းဆိုခဲ့တယ္လုိ႔လည္း သတင္းမွာ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။

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ျပင္သစ္- ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ မိတ္ေဆြမ်ားအဖြဲ႔ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာအေရး ေဆြးေႏြး

ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းက က်ယ္ျပန္႔ၿပီး ျပင္းထန္တဲ့ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ဳိးေဖာက္မႈစြပ္စဲြခ်က္ေတြအတြက္ သက္ေသအေထာက္အထားေတြ အရ ႏိုင္ငံတကာရာဇ၀တ္ခံုရံုးအထိသြားရမယ္ဆိုရင္ သြားဖို႔ လိုအပ္ေၾကာင္း ကေနဒါ၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ Trudeau ရဲ႕ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံဆိုင္ရာ အထူးကိုယ္စားလည္ Bob Rae က ကေျပာပါတယ္။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥကၠဌ Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury အပါအ၀င္ ျပစ္သစ္ လႊတ္ေတာ္အမတ္ေတြနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံတကာလူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ေရွ႕ေနေတြ တက္ေရာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ ဇြန္လ ၁ ရက္ေန႔က ျပင္သစ္လႊတ္ေတာ္မွာ က်င္းပတဲ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္အေရး ႏိုင္ငံတကာေဆြးေႏြးပဲြမွာ Bob Rae က အဲဒီလို ေျပာဆိုလိုက္တာပါ။ မအင္ၾကင္းႏိုင္က အျပည့္အစံု တင္ဆက္မွာပါ။

ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ႏိုင္ငံက ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ ၁ သန္းနဲ႔ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံက ဖိႏွိပ္ညွမ္းပန္းခံရတဲ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္း အေျခအေနအေပၚ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ ေဆြးေႏြးပဲြဆိုတဲ့ ေခါင္းစဥ္နဲ႔ က်င္းပတဲ့ အစည္းအေ၀းကို ျပင္သစ္လႊတ္ေတာ္မွာ အမတ္ Jean François Mbaye ဦးေဆာင္တဲ့ ျပင္သစ္-ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ မိတ္ေဆြမ်ား အဖဲြ႔က စီစဥ္ခဲ့တာပါ။

ဒီေဆြးေႏြးပဲြမွာ အီရန္ႏိုဗယ္လ္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးဆုရွင္ Shirin Ebadi ၊ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥကၠဌ Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury နဲ႔ ကေနဒါ၀န္ႀကီးခ်ဳပ္ Trudeau ရဲ႕ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံဆိုင္ရာ အထူးကိုယ္စားလည္ Bob Rae တို႔ အဖြင့္အမွာစကား အသီးသီးေျပာၾကားခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

ျမန္မာနဲ႕ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ႏိုင္ငံေတြကို ကိုယ္တိုင္သြားေရာက္ၿပီး “ကြ်ႏု္ပ္တို႔ဟာ လူသားေတြျဖစ္တယ္ ဆိုတာ သူတို႔ကို ေျပာလိုက္ပါ” ဆိုတဲ့ ေခါင္းစဥ္နဲ႕ ဧၿပီလက အစီရင္ခံစာေရးသားခဲ့တဲ့ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံဆိုင္ရာ ကေနဒါအထူးကိုယ္စားလွယ္ Bob Rae ကေတာ့ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းမွာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ဳိးေဖာက္မႈစြပ္စဲြေတြအတြက္ တာ၀န္ရွိသူေတြကို တရားစီရင္ႏိုင္ေရး ရရွိလာတဲ့ သက္ေသအေထာက္အထားခိုင္လံုမႈအေပၚမွာ ႏိုင္ငံတကာခံုရံုးအထိ သြားသင့္တယ္ဆိုရင္ သြားရမွာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ အခုလို ဗီြဒီယို မိန္႔ခြန္းကေန တဆင့္ေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါတယ္။

“Crimes against humanity လူသားမ်ဳိးႏြယ္အေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ့ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈ ေျမာက္တယ္ဆိုတာ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ သိပါတယ္။ ဒီအတြက္လည္း ရရွိလာတဲ့ သက္ေသအေထာက္အထားေတြက ညြန္းျပတဲ့ဆီကိုပဲ က်ေနာ္တို႔ သြားရမွာပါ။ ဘယ္အထိထိပဲ သြားသြား က်ေနာ္တို႔ မျဖစ္မေန လုပ္ေဆာင္ရမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအတြက္လည္း က်ေနာ္တို႔ ခိုင္ခိုင္မာမာရပ္တည္ရမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ေထာက္ခံႏိုင္တဲ့ နည္းလမ္းသစ္ေတြရွိေနပါတယ္။ ICC ႏိုင္ငံတကာရာဇ၀တ္ခံုရံုး၊ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီရဲ႕ ေထာက္ခံမႈနဲ႔ ICC ကိုသြားဖို႔ လုပ္နိုင္ပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔အတြက္ လိုအပ္တာက အေထာက္အထားအခ်က္အလက္ေတြကို စနစ္တက်စုေဆာင္းဖို႔ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ၊ ရက္စက္မႈေတြ အပါအ၀င္ လူသားမ်ဳိးႏြယ္အေပၚ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ့ ျပစ္မႈနဲ႔ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈအထိ ျဖစ္ႏိုင္ေျခ က်ဴးလြန္တဲ့ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈေျမာက္တယ္ဆိုတဲ့ ေသခ်ာတဲ့ အေထာက္အထားေတြ ျဖစ္ဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ “

ျမန္မာအစိုးရကိုယ္တိုင္လည္း ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္က ပဋိပကၡေတြအတြင္း လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ခ်ဳိးေဖာက္မႈေတြကုိ စုံစမ္းစစ္ေဆးမယ့္ ေကာ္မရွင္ အသစ္တခု ထပ္မံဖဲြ႔စည္းဖို႔ရွိေၾကာင္းနဲ႔ ႏုိင္ငံတကာက ပုဂၢိဳလ္တဦး အပါအ၀င္ အဖဲြ႔၀င္ ၃ ဦး ပါ၀င္မွာျဖစ္ၿပီး၊ ျပည္တြင္းျပည္ပက ဥပေဒေရးရာနဲ႔ နည္းပညာ ကၽြမ္းက်င္သူေတြ ပံ့ပုိးကူညီသြားမွာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ေမလ ကုန္ပိုင္းက ေၾကညာခ်က္ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ျပင္သစ္လႊတ္ေတာ္မွာ က်င္းပတဲ့ ေဆြးေႏြးပဲြမွာေတာ့ ကမၻာမွာ လူသားခ်င္းဆိုင္ရာ ဒုကၡအက်ပ္အတည္းအႀကီးဆံုးျဖစ္ေနတဲ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ ျပႆနာကို ကေနဒါအစိုးရအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအေနနဲ႕ နံပါတ္၁ ဦးစားေပးအဆင့္အေနနဲ႔ ေျဖရွင္းေဆာင္ရြက္ဖို႔ Bob Rae က တိုက္တြန္းသြားပါတယ္။

“ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္နဲ႔ ျမန္မာမွာရွိေနတဲ့ လူသားခ်င္းဆိုင္ရာ အက်ပ္အတည္းကို က်ေနာ္တို႔ေဆာင္ရြက္ေနမႈရဲ႕ ဦးစားေပးေရွ႕တန္းအဆင့္အေနနဲ႕ ဆက္လက္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ အလြန္ႀကီးမားတဲ့ လူသားခ်င္းဆိုင္ရာ ဒုကၡအက်ပ္အတည္းႀကီးအျဖစ္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အသိအမွတ္ျပဳဖို႔လိုပါတယ္။ မိုးရာသီကာလ ေရာက္လာတာနဲ႔အမွ် ဒုကၡသည္ေတြရင္ဆိုင္ရမယ့္ အခက္အခဲေတြဟာ အရင္ကထက္ အဆမတန္ဆိုးရြားလာမယ့္ အေျခအေနရွိတယ္ဆိုတာ က်ေနာ္တို႔ နားလည္ဖို႔ လိုအပ္ပါတယ္။”

ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အက်ပ္အတည္းကိစၥေျဖရွင္းရာမွာ အဓိကအေရးႀကီးဆံုးက ဒုကၡသည္ေတြ လံုလံုၿခံဳၿခံဳ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိရွိ ေနရပ္ျပန္ႏိုင္ေရး ျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥကၠဌ Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury က သူရဲ႕အဖြင့္မိန္႔ခြန္းမွာ အခုလို ေျပာသြားပါတယ္။

“ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ဘက္ နည္းဗ်ဴဟာ ႏွစ္ခု ခ်မွတ္ထားပါတယ္။ နံပါတ္၁ ကေတာ့ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံနဲ႔ ဆက္ဆံေရးအရ ေစ့စပ္ေဆြးေႏြးသြားမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒုတိယကေတာ့ ကုလသမဂၢအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္းကို စည္းရံုးမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ အက်ပ္အတည္းကို ေျဖရွင္းဖို႔အတြက္ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္ဟာ သက္ဆိုင္သူအားလံုးနဲ႔ သံတမန္ဆက္ဆံေရး၊ အျပဳသေဘာေဆာင္ ဆက္ဆံေရးကို လက္ကိုင္ျပဳထားပါတယ္။ ဒီျပႆနာအတြက္ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္အေနနဲ႔ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းတဲ့ အေျဖရဖို႔ ႀကိဳးပမ္းသြားမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။”

ဒါအျပင္ ဒုကၡသည္ေတြ ေနရပ္ျပန္ေရးမွာ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္းရဲ႕ အကူအညီ မရွိမျဖစ္လိုအပ္ေၾကာင္း Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury ကေျပာပါတယ္။

“ႏွစ္ႏိုင္ငံ သေဘာတူညီခ်က္အရ ဒုကၡသည္ေတြျပန္ပို႔ေရး အခ်က္ ၃ ခ်က္ကို ျမန္မာနဲ႔ သေဘာတူထားပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္ အတင္းအက်ပ္ေမာင္းထုတ္ခံရတဲ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာေတြအေနနဲ႔ ျမန္မာဘက္ျခမ္းမွာရွိတဲ့ သူတို႔ ေနရပ္ကို လံုလံုၿခံဳၿခံဳ၊ ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိရွိျပန္သြားႏိုင္မွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ သူတို႔ အေျခခ်ေနထိုင္မႈနဲ႔ ျမန္မာလူမႈအဖဲြ႔အစည္းနဲ႔ တသားတည္းေပါင္းစည္းေနထိုင္မႈကသာ ေရရွည္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းဖို႔အတြက္ အာမခံႏိုင္မွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ေနာက္ၿပီး ႏွစ္ႏိုင္ငံပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္မႈ ျဖစ္ေျမာက္ဖို႔ အတြက္ လံုၿခံဳေရးေကာင္စီအပါအ၀င္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္းရဲ႕ ပံ့ပိုးမႈေတြက မရွိမျဖစ္လိုအပ္ပါတယ္။ ဒုကၡသည္ေတြ ေနရပ္ျပန္ေရး အစီအစဥ္မွာ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအသိုင္းအ၀ိုင္းအေနနဲ႔ က်မတို႔နဲ႔ အတူရွိေနဖို႔ လိုအပ္ပါတယ္။”

ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ သီတင္းပတ္ကေတာ့ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ေတြ ေနရပ္ျပန္ေရး UNHCR ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားဆိုင္ရာ ကုလသမဂၢမဟာမင္းႀကီးရံုးနဲ႕ UNDP ကုလသမဂၢဖြံၿဖိဳးမႈအစီအစဥ္တို႔နဲ႔ ျမန္မာအစိုးရၾကား ပထမဆံုးအႀကိမ္ နားလည္မႈစာခြ်န္လႊာ ကေနဦး သေဘာတူညီခ်က္တခ်ဳိ႕ကို လက္မွတ္ေရးထိုးခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

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Calls for China to Face Ghosts of its Past on Tiananmen Anniversary

The United States has added its voice to international calls for China’s communist-led government to give a full public accounting of those who were killed, detained or went missing during the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

In a bold statement from Washington to mark the 29th anniversary of a bloody crackdown that left hundreds — some say thousands — dead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Chinese authorities to release “those who have been jailed for striving to keep the memory of Tiananmen Square alive; and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families.”

To this day, open discussion of the topic remains forbidden in China and the families of those who lost loved ones continue to face oppression. Chinese authorities have labeled the protests a counter-revolutionary rebellion and repeatedly argued that a clear conclusion of the events was reached long ago.

In an annual statement on the tragedy, the group Tiananmen Mothers urged President Xi Jinping in an open letter to “re-evaluate the June 4th massacre” and called for an end to their harassment.

“Each year when we would commemorate our loved ones, we are all monitored, put under surveillance, or forced to travel” to places outside of China’s capital, the letter said. The advocacy group Human Rights in China released the open letter from the Tiananmen Mothers ahead of the anniversary.

“No one from the successive governments over the past 29 years has ever asked after us, and not one word of apology has been spoken from anyone, as if the massacre that shocked the world never happened,” the letter said.

In his statement, Pompeo also said that on the anniversary “we remember the tragic loss of innocent lives,” adding that as Liu Xiaobo wrote in his 2010 Nobel Peace Prize speech, “the ghosts of June 4th have not yet been laid to rest.”

Liu was unable to receive his Nobel prize in person in 2010 and died in custody last year. The dissident writer played an influential role in the Tiananmen protests and was serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion of state power when he passed.

At a regular press briefing on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had lodged “stern representations” with the United States over the statement on Tiananmen.

“The United States year in, year out issues statements making ‘gratuitous criticism’ of China and interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Hua said. “The U.S. Secretary of State has absolutely no qualifications to demand the Chinese government do anything,” she added.

In a statement on Twitter, which is blocked in China like many websites, Hu Xijin, the editor of the party-backed Global Times, called the statement a “meaningless stunt.”

In another post he said: “what wasn’t achieved through a movement that year will be even more impossible to be realized by holding whiny commemorations today.”

Commemorations for Tiananmen are being held across the globe to mark the anniversary and tens of thousands are expected to gather in Hong Kong, the only place in China such large-scale public rallies to mark the incident can be held.

Exiled Tiananmen student protest leader Wu’Er Kaixi welcomed the statement from Pompeo.

However, he added that over the past 29 years western democracies appeasement of China has nurtured the regime into an imminent threat to freedom and democracy.

“The world bears a responsibility to urge China, to press on the Chinese regime to admit their wrongdoing, to restore the facts and then to console the dead,” he said. “And ultimately to answer the demands of the protesters 29 years ago and put China on the right track to freedom and democracy.”

Wu’er Kaixi fled China after the crackdown and now resides in Taiwan where he is the founder of Friends of Liu Xiaobo. The group recently joined hands with several other non-profit organizations and plans to unveil a sculpture in July — on the anniversary of his death — to commemorate the late Nobel laureate. The sculpture will be located near Taiwan’s iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper.

In Taiwan, the self-ruled democracy that China claims is a part of its territory, political leaders from both sides of the isle have also urged China’s communist leaders to face the past.

On Facebook, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen noted that it was only by facing up to its history that Taiwan has been able to move beyond the tragedies of the past.

“If authorities in Beijing can face up to the June 4th incident and acknowledge that at its roots it was a state atrocity, the unfortunate history of June 4th could become a cornerstone for China to move toward freedom and democracy,” Tsai said.

Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, a member of the opposition Nationalist Party or KMT, who saw close ties with China while in office, also urged Beijing to face up to history and help heal families’ wounds.

“Only by doing this can the Chinese communists bridge the psychological gap between the people on both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait and be seen by the world as a real great power,” Ma said.

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