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Rose-tinted Glasses Delivered to British Foreign Office- Burma Campaign UK

By Burma Campaign UK  •  February 3, 2015

Burma Campaign UK was today joined by Baroness Kinnock, Baroness Nye, and supporters to deliver more than 2,000 rose-tinted glasses, photo petitions and campaign postcards to the British Foreign Office as part of our campaign to persuade the British government to stop looking at Burma through rose-tinted glasses, and return to putting human rights as their top priority in Burma.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of people have taken action in support of our campaign to deliver rose-tinted glasses to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, to highlight how the British government takes a rose-tinted view of the situation in Burma.  This rose-tinted glasses campaign has been highly effective; it has featured in the media in the UK and in Burma, and in debates in the British Parliament.

The British government is now facing increasing pressure from the public and members of Parliament to return to a Burma policy where they put human rights first.

In recent months, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama and the United Nations have all said that Burma’s reform process is stalled, backsliding, or backtracking. Burma still has one of the worst human rights records in the world.

*       The number of political prisoners has increased five-fold to 160.
*       Repression of the ethnic Rohingya is increasing.
*       New laws are being proposed which could restrict the right of women to marry non-Buddhists.
*       Burmese Army attacks in ethnic states continue.
*       The use of rape and sexual violence by the Burmese Army against ethnic women continues with impunity.
*       The process in Burma is not a transition to democracy, it is a transition to a new form of authoritarian rule with the same people in charge.

Despite this, the British government refuses to admit the reform process has stalled. Instead, Ministers still talk up reforms, play down human rights violations, and focus on promoting trade and investment.

“The British government must admit that reforms in Burma have stalled and return to a policy that makes human rights, not trade deals, the priority”, said Anna Roberts, Executive Director at Burma Campaign UK. “For too long, the British government has viewed Burma through rose-tinted glasses, and based policy on the broken promises of President Thein Sein. They should instead accept that human rights violations in Burma are increasing and put pressure on the military-backed government in Burma to deliver genuine reforms for democracy in Burma.”

Baroness Kinnock, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Burma said “We are extremely concerned over the British government’s policy on Burma. We would like to see a much more robust policy based on the promotion of human rights and genuine democracy”.

For more information please contact:
Anna Roberts – (+44) 07950849529 anna.roberts@burmacampaign.org.uk @burmacampaignuk
Mark Farmaner – (+44) 7941239640 mark.farmaner@burmacampaign.org.uk @MarkFarmaner

For interviews with British parliamentarians who are at the event, please contact Zoya Phan- 07738630139 zoya.phan@burmacampaign.org.uk @zoyaphan

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This post is in: Press Release

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