Shadow Minister for International Development, Rushanara Ali MP, chaired an urgent press conference with Labour MPs, Peers and representatives from campaign groups, to discuss how the international community can apply pressure on the Burmese authorities to address the plight of the Rohingya and facilitate immediate humanitarian access to affected areas.
Rushanara Ali was joined by Baroness Kinnock, Sadiq Khan MP, Jonathan Ashworth MP, Baroness Uddin and Baroness Nye.
Rushanara Ali said:
“Action is urgently needed to address the mounting humanitarian crisis in Burma and the continuing sectarian violence between Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Reports in recent weeks indicate that a further 36,400 people were displaced and 89 people were killed in October. Those in overcrowded displacement camps face multiple challenges and difficult or no access to basic humanitarian needs including healthcare, food and drinking water.
“The Burmese authorities must take steps to address the culture of marginalisation and discrimination of the Rohingya community in Burma and review the 1982 Citizenship Law which renders the Rohingya stateless, denying them basic human rights. The international community must apply pressure not only on the Burmese Government to facilitate humanitarian access and put an end to the violence but also on the Bangladesh Government to open up their borders for the innocent refugees trying to flee the conflict.
“I would like to thank all those who attended the press conference to express their views and share their suggestions on how the international community can help put an end to this dire situation. We cannot stand idly by and watch this violence continue.”
Last week, Rushanara Ali delivered a letter co-signed by Kerry McCarthy MP, Shadow Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Secretary of State for the Foreign Office, William Hague MP, calling on him to apply pressure on the Burmese authorities to address the humanitarian crisis and provide support to innocent refugees.