Myanmar Denies CSW Allegations of Chemical Weapon Use

The military authorities of Myanmar, have denied recent allegations by a Christian human rights group that it may have used chemical weapons in an attack on ethnic Karenni rebels.

The report was made by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, citing “circumstantial evidence” that the Myanmar military forces fired a shell that emmitted yellow smoke with a “highly irritating odeor.”

Information Minister Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsann said that “Myanmar has no technology to produce any chemical weapons," during a press conference attended by the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the "circumstantial evidence" wwere presented by the CWS in a press release. In the report, Dr. Martin Panter of CSW reported that he interviewed five soldiers on April 14 who “suffered symptoms as a result of this alleged attack, such as irritation to the skin and lungs and severe weakness.”

He concluded that there was “strong evidence” that nerve agents, pulmonary agents and possibly bilster evidence were used.

The report acknowledged that there is a “very high burden of proof” required by the international community to sanction a nation for the use of chemical weapons.

In this case “all we can definitely state …is that all the findings are consistent with the use of chemical weapons…” on Februray 15, 2005.

Rimond Htoo, the secretary general of the Karenni National People’s Party said that the attack occurred at his group’s camp near the Thai border in the townof mae hong Son, according to the Associated Press.

“We do not know whether it was a chemical weapon,” said Htoo.

In the past, the military authorities of Myanmar, have denied “a variety of claims” that it had used chemical weapons against ethinic insurgents, according to the Associated Press.