The military council’s health minister reportedly “rebuffed” a top UN official’s request for expanded humanitarian access for the delivery of Covid-19 assistance during his three-day visit to Myanmar earlier this week, according to a source within the UN.
Ramesh Rajasingham, Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), visited Myanmar from Monday through Wednesday. On the first day of the trip, he met with three junta ministers for health, foreign affairs and social welfare, the UN source told Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity.
The visit was made at the request of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the source said, but neither side has made this information public and Myanmar Now was unable to verify the claim.
During Mr Rajasingham’s visit, he reportedly demanded that “certain conditions” be met for greater Covid-19-related humanitarian access but his request was “rebuffed” by junta health minister Thet Khine Win.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since February 1, when the military seized power from the civilian government led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently detained in junta custody.