ISSN 2330-717X

Letter Seeks ‘Action’ On Rohingya Violence In Burma


By Mike MacLachlan

There is “an urgent need for international action,” including by the United Nations, to curb religious violence in western Myanmar, six senior British politicians said in a letter published today.

“The priority must be to put pressure on the government to stop the violence and to provide unhindered access for aid agencies,” they wrote in a letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“More emergency aid is needed, and pressure on Bangladesh to allow refugees across its borders is required.”

The letter follows weeks of violence between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya in the region bordering Bangladesh that has led to hundreds of deaths, the destruction of at least 22 villages and nearly 100,000 people being forced out of their homes.

There has been violence on both sides, the letter points out, but “the Rohingya are the primary victims, having faced persecution for years.”

Myanmar should revise the 1982 citizenship law, which does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, the writers, all members of the British House of Lords, wrote.

They acknowledge that Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent visit to Britain shows that change is under way in Myanmar. But this is threatened by the Rakhine-Rohingya situation, they said.

“This crisis has consequences for regional peace and security, and for [Myanmar’s] reforms. It merits the urgent attention of the UN Security Council and the secretary-general,” the letter said.

“As a permanent member of the Security Council, Britain should ensure that this is placed on the agenda immediately.”

The letter is signed by the Catholic rights campaigner and former MP Lord Alton, the former Liberal Party leader Lord Steel, Baroness Cox, also a rights campaigner, Baroness Jenkin, a Conservative peer, Lady (Glenys) Kinnock, opposition spokesperson in the Lords for the Department of International Development, and Lord McConnell, a former First Minister in the Scottish Parliament.

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One thought on “Letter Seeks ‘Action’ On Rohingya Violence In Burma

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you house of Lord, for finally picking up the humanitarian cause of the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar. It is the humanitarian problem of significant proportions!
    I fully agree that in the short term, Bangladesh should offer safe haven to these Rohingyas, who are ethnically identical to Bangladeshis!
    I am sure Myanmar should be required to “look at” 1982 citizenship laws as well. At the same time, the greatest country in the world, THE UNITED KINGDOM should look at what happened post 1822, and accept all the Rohingyas (which is really not an ethnic group) from that time, in to the warm welcome of the the United Kingdom as their sovereign subjects of the the empire-where-the-sun-never-sets! Given their status as the loyal subjects of the Empire which Rohingyas won’t love to be under the sovereign reign of their beloved Monarch, the Queen Elizabeth!. Option to remain in this poor, poor, Myanmar trying to share the poor, poor diet with the rest of Myanmar citizenry really don’t excite us Rohingyas!! please take a international supervised (by Jimmy Carter) poll among us we Rohingyas! we would rather be embraced by her majesty, our Monarch, our home land, the empire. Please let us queue behind those Gurkha, those loyal servants of the empire. I know our selfless master in the UNited Kingdom will eventually come to our rescue!
    God save the Queen!
    your humble servant


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