Canada announced today that it will support a referral of the situation in Myanmar by the United Nations Security Council to the International Criminal Court.
Canada maintains an arms embargo against Myanmar together with targeted sanctions. The government says it will use Canada’s 2018 Presidency of the G7, the group of seven large industrial economies, to raise the issue and get international engagement on the situation.
In the face of atrocity crimes, ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and continuing attacks against other ethnic groups, the UK can no longer continue with ‘business as usual’ in its interactions with Burma.
In a Report published today, MPs on the International Development Committee say that the actions and language of the UK towards Burma need to change in response to a regime which has carried out deliberate, state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing with devastating consequences for the Rohingya, Bangladesh and the international community.
The Committee calls on the UK and its allies to gather support on referring Burma to the International Criminal Court and to apply targeted financial sanctions at key figures. There needs to be a realisation and acknowledgement by the government of Burma that there are consequences for such human rights violations.
Burma Campaign UK’s Campaigns Officer, Karin Valtersson, joined the demonstration by the Kachin community in the UK, calling on the British government to support the UN Security Council’s referral of Burma/Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
A special edition of Dispatches with exclusive access to Rohingya activists’ secret recordings, which provide evidence of years of repression, violence and mass murder by the Myanmar authorities, was broadcast today on Channel 4.
The Justice for Rohingya Minority (JFRM) was launched at a ceremony at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London on Wednesday.
Mark Farmaner, member of JFRM and director of Burma Campaign UK, argued that the international response to the Rohingya crisis has been muted.
Referring to recent army attacks on civilians in Kachin State, Mark Farmaner said “Nine months on from the start of this crisis, Min Aung Hlaing has paid no price for what he’s done. He is emboldened, he has got away with it, and he’s now targeting other ethnic groups much more aggressively. It’s vital to end his sense of impunity.”
The Lords Grand Committee today held a short debate on recent developments in Myanmar.
Burma Campaign UK’s Director Mark Farmaner spoke at today’s Kachin protest in front of the UK Foreign Office, calling on the British government to support the UN Security Council referring Burma/Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand has called on the UN Security Council to act to end ongoing crimes against humanity in northern Burma, which the UNSC delegation did not visit on its recent visit to Rakhine State.
KWAT urges the UN Security Council:
- To refer the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court
- To impose a global arms embargo on Burma
- To place targeted sanctions on military officers responsible for crimes against humanity or other serious human rights violations.
The European Union has defended a 30 million euro project to train the Myanmar Police, after a police witness in a case against two local journalists told a court this month that a senior police commander had ordered their entrapment.
Burma Campaign UK director Mark Farmaner told VOA, “It’s hard to see how the EU can continue to justify this training program when we see these cases where the highest levels of the police force are involved in framing journalists.”
“The case of the Reuters journalists just exposes how much the military control the police,” he said. “There’s no way you can reform the police force if the people in charge of that force aren’t interested in respecting human rights.”
“Writing to MPs, or going to meet your MPs, really does make a difference”, Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, told the National Student. Asked how students can pressure the government to change its policies and help alleviate the suffering in Burma, Mark said “We have had MPs standing up in Parliament really putting a boot into the minister, based on the fact that they have had constituents meeting them and writing to them.”