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British Parliament Debates Rohingya of Burma

By Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK  •  January 12, 2015
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK welcomes the debate on the Rohingya held in the British Parliament on Wednesday 14th January. We are disappointed however, by the response of Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire MP, who failed to accept that his approach has failed to influence the Burmese government, and failed to announce any new initiatives to try to address the human rights and humanitarian crisis faced by the Rohingya in Burma.
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK would like to thank Jonathan Ashworth MP for securing the debate, and the other MPs who took part in the debate.
During the debate, MPs highlighted the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the exclusion of the Rohingya from the census, the discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law, violations of international law against the Rohingya, refugees in Bangladesh, restrictions on marriage, and many other forms of abuse and repression faced by the Rohingya in Burma.
Valerie Vaz MP asked Hugo Swire if he had ever met with Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK. He replied he did not recall. The answer is that he has not met with us. He predecessors used to invite representatives of Burma’s ethnic groups in the UK for meetings. Hugo Swire has not done so.
The response of Hugo Swire in the debate, speaking on behalf of the British government, was very disappointing. The Minister said how he has raised the issues highlighted in the debate with the Burmese government. We welcome his raising these issues, but the truth is that this is not working, and the situation continues to get worse. As his current approach is not working, why does he refuse to consider taking different action? Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK has asked the British government to support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon taking the lead in negotiating humanitarian access. Hugo Swire has failed to support this.
During the debate Hugo Swire avoided giving a straight answer to a question by Valerie Vaz MP, about whether he agreed crimes against humanity have been committed against the Rohingya. He answered: “That is for the international courts to decide.” However, he does not support international courts being able to decide. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK has asked the British government to support an international investigation into violations against the Rohingya. Hugo Swire has also refused to support this.
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK thanks British MPs for their continuing support, and requests them to increase their pressure on the British government to support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon taking the lead in negotiating humanitarian access in Rakhine state, and to support an independent investigation into human rights violations against the Rohingya.
A transcript of the debate is available here:
For more information contact Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK on +44 (0) 7888714866.
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This post is in: Press Release

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