March 27th, 2013

Statement by NDP International Human Rights Critic on situation in Burma

OTTAWA – Today New Democrat International Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston issued the following statement in reaction to the situation in Burma:

New Democrats condemn unequivocally the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.

A large-scale humanitarian crisis is in the making. The Burmese government has systematically blocked humanitarian aid and imposed discriminatory policies on Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State.

An ethnic campaign of violence and abuse since June 2012, at times involving state security forces and government officials, has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims in Burma. Tens of thousands of Rohingya are living in temporary shelters with limited access to humanitarian necessities.

Over the weekend at least 20 people were killed, and 12,000 people were displaced during three days of violence. Mobs destroyed at least 5 mosques and burned dozens of homes.

New Democrats call on the Government of Canada to exert diplomatic pressure on the Burmese government to provide unlimited access to humanitarian agencies so that assistance can be provided to the affected populations.