Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights and religious tolerance in Burma

On Tuesday 7th July the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written reply to a question on Burma. 

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Myanmar concerning the Population Control Health Care Law and how it can be implemented in a nondiscriminatory way. [HL864]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We have made representations on all four of the so-called ‘protection of race and religion bills’, including the population law. We remain concerned that these laws could harm religious tolerance and respect for diversity in Burma, and contravene international standards and treaties to which Burma is a signatory.

We have voiced our concerns over the proposed legislation to members of the Burmese government and parliamentarians. The then Minister of State for the Home Department, the right hon. Lynne Featherstone, raised the issue when she met Deputy Foreign Minister Thant Kyaw during her visit to Burma in January.

The UK also endorsed a local statement issued by EU Heads of Mission in Rangoon in January, reiterating those concerns and calling on the Burmese government and parliament to ensure that all new legislation is fully compliant with Burma’s international human rights obligations.

The population bill was also raised in the EU/Burma Human Rights Dialogue on 18 June.