YANGON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Myanmar government said that it would not cast aspersions on any race, religion or group, either directly or indirectly, as Myanmar defended the nation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"It is heartening to see that people from all walks of life, those in the union as well as those living abroad at present, are expressing their support for the State Counselor and her leadership in the endeavors to contest the case at the ICJ," the government said in a statement on Wednesday, warning that the issue before the ICJ is of high national concern and affects the interest of the nation.
The Myanmar government said last Thursday that State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as foreign minister, will lead a legal team to The Hague, Netherlands, to defend the country's national interest at the ICJ concerning the alleged violation of the provisions of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in Rakhine, filed by Gambia against Myanmar on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Myanmar has retained the services of top most legal experts to contest the case and a strong legal team has been formed.
The statement recalled that Myanmar was the 42nd member state to sign the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on Dec. 30, 1949 and became a state party to the Genocide Convention on March 14, 1956.
In the process of seeking parliament's approval on Sept. 2, 1955, the then minister concerned told the parliament that "I can state with full confidence that today Myanmar has not engaged in any act to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group or any other group. This has not happened today and will not happen in the future".
"Today, Myanmar is as resolute as we were when we ratified the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide," the statement said.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which Myanmar declared as an extremist terrorist group, launched repeated attacks on police outposts in Rakhine state on Aug. 25, 2017, displacing a vast number of residents to areas bordering Bangladesh.