On the 10th May 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith spoke in Baroness Anelay’s debate about recent developments in Myanmar. Bishop Alan spoke about the continued hostilities against minority communities in Myanmar and highlighted the importance of reconciliation work with young people to create a mutual commitment to peace and the cessation of violence. Lord Ahmad responded to the debate for the Government and his comments can be seen below.
On 31st January 2018 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer from Government about the Rohingya people in Burma:
On the 26th October the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Helic, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to support the Rohingya refugees currently displaced in Bangladesh.” The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth took part in the debate highlighting the need for a greater action by the international community to support agents of compassion and to address the underlying causes of the crisis. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry questions Government about support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh”
Between 18th-25th September 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to five questions about Burma, on human rights violations, UK humanitarian aid and sanctions against the Burmese military:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry:
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what humanitarian assistance they are providing to help alleviate the emerging humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State in Burma.
(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the suspension of military assistance, including training, for the Burmese army.
(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the introduction of financial and travel sanctions against senior Burmese military officials following the Burmese military’s recent offensive in Rakhine State.
(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Burma to engage with existing United Nations Human Rights Council mechanisms and address reports of severe human rights violations in Rakhine State.
(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance and support they are providing the government of Burma and other parties in Burma to de-escalate the crisis in Rakhine State.
On 5th September 2017, the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, tabled an urgent question, to ask Her Majesty’s Government “what it is doing to respond to the crisis facing the Rohingya people in Myanmar.” Below is the Minister’s response and a subsequent question asked by the Bishop.
Baroness Goldie (Con): My Lords, Her Majesty’s Government are deeply concerned by the situation in Rakhine and the plight of the Rohingya. We immediately raised the situation in the United Nations Security Council on 30 August, where we urged a restrained security response and that all sides de-escalate tensions. Our priority now is ensuring that urgent food and medical assistance can be provided to displaced civilians. Our heads of mission in Rangoon and Dhaka have been discussing the situation in Rakhine with their respective host Governments, including enabling humanitarian aid to reach where the need is greatest.
On the 20th February 2017, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question about the Government support for a UN inquiry into human rights abuses in Northern Rhakine.
Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report Interviews with Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016, whether they will support the UN in setting up an inquiry into human rights violations against the Rohingya. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma”
On the 12th January 2017 Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead held a debate about the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim people in Burma. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, pressed the Government to encourage the Burmese authorities to move towards full citizenship and rights for the Rohingya community, and to allow access for independent monitors to northern Rakhine.
“People pushed to desperation and anger, with no hope for the future, are more likely to embrace extremist responses, however counterproductive”.
The systematic persecution of the Rohingya people by the Burmese Government, most obviously manifested in the denial of citizenship to Rohingya Muslims, has created a fertile recruiting ground for militants. It is a simple human truth that people who have no say in their future and no means to participate in the democratic life of their country are liable to resort to extremism in order to achieve those means. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans presses Government on Burma and Rohingya citizenship”