Rushanara Ali MP Marks 46th Anniversary of Bangladesh Independence

For Immediate Release

The Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali marked the 46th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh on Sunday by attending an event in Kensington Town Hall hosted by the Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Md. Nazmul Quaunine.

Following this event on Monday afternoon Rushanara Ali attended an event in the Terrace Pavilion in the Houses of Parliament with several parliamentary colleagues, including fellow British Bangladeshi MPs Rupa Huq and Tulip Siddiq.

Marking the anniversary, Rushanara said:

“Bangladesh’s Independence Day is of profound importance in Bangladesh and to Bangladeshis around the world. As a British Bangladeshi, I am extremely proud to mark the 46th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence with many of my parliamentary colleagues and the Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for our freedom and independence. We are and will always remain in their debt.”

Statement on London Terrorist Attacks

Following the terrorist attack on Wednesday 22nd March on the Palace of Westminster, Rushanara Ali MP attended a vigil on Thursday evening with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP and Harriet Harman MP in Trafalgar Square.

Rushanara Ali MP said,

"My thoughts are with PC Palmers’ family and all those who were victims of this despicable act of terror. We are incredibly grateful to our brave emergency service personnel who protected the public and Parliament.

It is in the days after an attack like this that we must be vigilant against those who try to exploit these public anxieties. We must provide reassurance to all those concerned and maintain unity in our city and our country and our communities."

Speaking in the chamber following the Prime Minster's statement on the attack on Thursday, Rushanara said:

"We are so grateful to the emergency services, and everyone who protected us and the wider public."

"The Prime Minster speaks for the whole country in her message of unity, but does she agree that the painstaking work begins now, in the days ahead, for all hon. Members in our constituencies in providing reassurance and maintaining that unity?"

"It is in the days after such events that we must be vigilant against those who try to exploit attacks and cause backlashes and intolerance against different communities. Does she also agree that the role of the media is critical in ensuring that we maintain our resilience, and that sense of defiance and solidarity?"

ENDS

East End Community To Mark 74th Anniversary of Biggest Loss of Civilian Life During WW2

For Immediate Release

Local leaders, volunteers and relatives will mark the 74th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster on Sunday 5th March during a Memorial Service at St John Church. The memorial service marks the tragedy that befell those that sought shelter in the tube station on the 3rd March 1943, during the Second World War when 173 people died and around 300 people became trapped after a large crowd attempted to find shelter in the tube station during an air raid. The Bethnal Green tube disaster was the biggest loss of civilian life during the Second World War.

Rushanara Ali MP who is attending the memorial service on Sunday 5th March said:

“It is an honour to attend the 74th anniversary of the Bethnal Green tube disaster. Every year members of our community pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the heart of Bethnal Green. The loss of 173 lives was avoidable that night in 1943 and the long-standing efforts by those here today to ensure a permanent memorial is created shows the strong sense of community spirit alive in the East End.”

“Preserving the memory of those who lost their lives is important not just for the families but for the whole community and once again I would like to pay tribute to the Stairway to Heaven Memorial project which has been working tirelessly over the last few years to raise money to properly commemorate all those who lost their lives.”

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ENDS
Notes to Editors:
1) For further information or comment please contact Rushanara Ali MP’s Office on 020 7219 7200 or email rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk
2) You can find more information on Rushanara’s work in Parliament here:

Rushanara Ali MP presses Aung San Suu Kyi to take urgent action to protect Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State

For Immediate Release

On Tuesday 14th February, the Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Burma, Rushanara Ali met with Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw, Burma.

During her second visit to the country in four years, Rushanara congratulated Aung San Suu Kyi on her party’s victory in 2015’s landmark democratic elections, discussed the strong ties between the United Kingdom and Burma and the need to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Burma.

Rushanara also raised serious concerns about the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State at the hands of the military, which has cost thousands of lives. After co-ordinating a letter signed by 70 Parliamentarians to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP in December last year, Rushanara communicated her concerns about the treatment of Rohingya Muslims directly to the State Counsellor.

Following the meeting Rushanara Ali said:

“It was a great honour to be received by Aung San Suu Kyi on my recent visit to Burma. The sacrifices she made throughout her life remains an inspiration to all those committed to democracy and freedom around the world. However the attacks in October 2016, directed by the military following the killing of nine border officers, led to the displacement of 69,000 people to Bangladesh and displaced thousands more in Rakhine State. This is on top of the existing 100,000 confined to Internally Displaced Person’s Camps since the previous outbreak of violence in 2012.”

“Within Rakhine State – and indeed across many other areas of the country – there continues to be a massive humanitarian challenge as access to food, healthcare and shelter remains poor or negligible, especially in Northern Rakhine and conditions have not improved since my last visit in 2013.”

“After five decades of military rule, Burma faces a long list of serious challenges: ethnic conflicts, extreme poverty, continued human rights abuses by the military and under-development, to name just a few.”

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ENDS
Notes to Editors:

1) For further information or comment please contact Rushanara Ali MP’s Office on 020 7219 7200 or email rushanara.ali.mp@parliament.uk

2) You can find more information on Rushanara’s work in Parliament here. Rushanara has previously written about the Rohingya for the Guardian. Her articles can be read here and here.

3) On December 7th 2016, 70 Parliamentarians signed a letter addressed to the UK Foreign Secretary urging him to intensify the Government’s pressure on the Myanmar Government following the recent escalation of violence in Rakhine. The letter can be read here. Please find the reply in the link at the bottom of the page.

4) Recent actions by the military referred to above ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’, according to the UN Human Rights Office.

5) Despite the recent historic elections in Myanmar and the subsequent transition to democracy, power of key government departments – border affairs, home affairs and defense – remain in the hands of the military, and many positions in other ministries are held by military generals.

Rushanara Ali MP calls on Government to protect the Queen and rescind State Visit invitation to Donald Trump

For Immediate Release

The Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, yesterday called on the Government to rescind the offer of a State Visit to American President Donald Trump. Following the President’s Executive Order for a travel ban from seven-majority Muslim countries and a litany of misogynistic and racist comments, Rushanara called on the Prime Minster to protect the reputation of the Queen and offer the President a government-to-government visit rather than a State Visit.

Yesterday Members of Parliament had the opportunity to speak in a Westminster Hall debate regarding a Petition signed by nearly two million people that demanded that the offer of a State Visit be withdrawn due to the embarrassment it would cause to the Queen. With 11,476 residents from Bethnal Green and Bow signing the petition, Rushanara who attended the debate said:

“Given President Trump’s remarks on torture, his misogynistic stance against women, as well those against Muslims, associating with him in the form of a State Visit will do a huge amount of damage to our Queen. The monarchy is respected around the world and the government should have a government-to-government visit with Donald Trump and leave Her Majesty out of this.”

After the debate, Rushanara addressed a large demonstration against the State visit gathered in Parliament Square.

She said:  

“Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies are deeply, deeply worrying for not only our country, but also for all those who care about the rights of minorities, rights of women and all those threatened by his values. That’s why we will continue to fight against this State Visit.”

Following the demonstrations Rushanara said:

“Rescinding the offer of a State Visit is not an attempt to boycott President Trump’s visit. It is always better to have dialogue between countries, but given President Trump’s comments, a government-to-government visit would be much more appropriate for this American President’s trip to the United Kingdom.”