RELIGION

UN rights envoy slams Myanmar on military's actions

  • Yanghee Lee, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, waves as she leaves a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

    Yanghee Lee, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, waves as she leaves a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yanghee Lee, center, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, walks upon her arrival at a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

    Yanghee Lee, center, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, walks upon her arrival at a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yanghee Lee, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, talks to journalists during a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

    Yanghee Lee, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur to Myanmar, talks to journalists during a press briefing at a hotel Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. Lee visited conflict areas including Kachin and Rakhine State and met with government officials during her trip to Myanmar. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)  (The Associated Press)

A U.N. human rights envoy has ended a 12-day visit to Myanmar with a bleak evaluation of the government's ability to deal with the problems facing the country's ethnic minorities.

U.N. rapporteur Yanghee Lee said in a statement Friday that the government's response to problems including fighting with the Kachin minority in the country's north and a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the west was "to defend, dismiss and deny," which she described as counterproductive.

Myanmar's military has been accused of human rights abuses in both areas.

Lee, who was barred from travelling to parts of Kachin state, said it was clear that the situation there was deteriorating.

She also said the army seemed to disregard the rights of Rohingya Muslims in conducting security operations in Rakhine state.