Published On: Wed, Apr 9th, 2014 on 11:01 am

Bradford MP claims Government not doing enough to condemn Rohingya persecution

Bradford Burma Protest

A demonstration was held in Bradford City Park last year

David Ward, MP for Bradford East, has claimed the Government is not doing enough to condemn human rights abuses in Burma following a Government report released earlier this month.

The Government report – entitled ‘UK Activities in Burma: April 2014’ – summarises the UK’s recent activities in Burma and outlines what is being done to support areas of progress including democracy building, peace building and development.

But David argues that the report doesn’t explain how exactly the Government plans to help Rohingyan people, other than lobbying the Burmese Government for change.

He also states that the report does not make clear how much the UK’s Burma budget has been increased for the 2014 to 2015 financial year, as the report refers only to the 2013 to 2014 budget of £68 million.

This money is outlined to go to different projects over several years, including projects to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

Commenting, David said: “The Government is definitely taking the situation in Burma very seriously and it’s important to work with them to ensure the peaceful transfer of power to a fully functioning democratic government.

“However, at the moment it’s hard to judge how effective the Government’s actions in Burma are especially in working to enhance protections for the persecuted Rohingya minority in the country, which should be a key priority.”

In the past two years, ethnic and religious tensions have led to violence between the Rohingya and Rakhine communities in the Rakhine state.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes for temporary camps, where they depend on international aid for survival. It is estimated that over 120,000 have been forced to flee their homes.

David added: “The positive progress made in Burma should not blind us to the continuing human rights abuses against minorities and especially the Rohingya people.

“The UK Government must do more to ensure that further aid is conditional on the protection of fundamental human rights in Burma.”

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