Myanmar sets up commission to investigate Rakhine violence
Yangon - Myanmar's reform-minded president on Friday set up an independent commission to investigate the sectarian violence that claimed at least 77 lives in the western state of Rakhine in June.
President Thein Sein’s initiative comes less than two weeks after United Nations special envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana called for the establishment of an independent commission to fully investigate the atrocities, some of which were allegedly committed by authorities.
Sources close to Thein Sein said the commission would be headed by Myo Myint, retired director general of the Religious Affairs Ministry and Kyaw Yin Hlaing, head of the Myanmar Egress non-governmental organisation.
The 27-member commission will also include well known comedian Zagana, student activist leader Ko Ko Gyi, representatives from several political parties and leaders of Christian and Muslim groups.
"The commission is to report directly to the president on its findings," a government source said.
The investigation comes at a time of growing optimism in the West that the once-pariah nation is on the path to political and economicreform since a nominal civilian government came to power following an election in November 2010.//DPA