Saturday, 16 September 2017

Protect Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

On Thursday 14th September, I spoke at a Council meeting in the City Chambers as a seconder for an Emergency motion in support of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Rohingya are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation, according to the UN secretary general. Antonio Guterres has spoken out about the alleged attacks by security forces on Rohingya villagers stating that they were completely unacceptable. The Burmese army is says it is fighting with militants and denies targeting civilians. However, the UN Security Council is called for urgent steps to end this violence.

Aung San Suu Kyi is known as pro-democracy campaigner, who under house arrest in Burma, was given the Freedom of Glasgow in her absence, in 2009. Councillors shared their concern that she presses the military to end its brutal crackdown. 

Some 379,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since violence began last month. Whole villages have burned down. The number of Rohingya arriving in Bangladesh has tripled since a week ago.

Dr Suu Kyi has a long-declared commitment to universal human rights. However, there is concern that she does not and never will embrace the beleaguered Rohingya Muslims in this Buddhist majority country.  Dr Suu Kyi, has spent many years in some form of detention imposed by the country's military regime. As the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

On 13 November 2015, the NLD secured the required two-thirds of the contested seats in parliament to win a majority in what was widely regarded as a mainly fair vote - although there were reports of some irregularities. The Muslim Rohingya minority, who are not recognised as citizens were denied voting rights. Since taking power, the NLD, and Dr Suu Kyi in particular, have been facing growing international pressure for ignoring abuses against the Rohingya in western Rakhine state. 

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