Baroness Cox raises a Question for debate on Burma

December 10th, 2013

Baroness Cox raises a Question for debate on Burma

Yesterday in the House of Lords, Baroness Cox asked the British Government what ‘their assessment [is] of recent developments in Burma with regard to the situation of the ethnic national groups, in particular the Kachin, Shan and Rohingya peoples.’

The Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi (Con), responded that the Government welcomes the ‘continuing talks between the Burmese Government and ethnic groups’ but remains ‘concerned by recent reports of fighting in Kachin state and continue[s] to argue for full humanitarian access.’ The noble minister reported that the Government continues to ‘monitor tensions in Rakhine state and press[es] for improved security and accountability, better co-ordination of humanitarian assistance and a solution to the question of Rohingya citizenship.’

Baroness Cox pressed the minister on the subjects of ‘massive civilian displacement’, the Burmese Army’s ‘continuing military offensive’ and ‘violations of human rights’, specifically on the subject of the proposed cooperation between the British and Burmese armies.

A number of Peers joined the debate: Baroness Berridge (Con) highlighted the plight of persecuted Rohingya Muslims; Baroness Kinnock (Lab) raised the problem of the 2014 Burma census and the presently unrecognised Rohingya people; Baroness Falkner (LD) asked about the Government’s awareness of externally displaced Burmese peoples; and Lord Alton (CB) asked for a response to reports of genocide of the Rohingya peoples and human rights violations in Kachin state.

Read the full text here.

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