Burma News UpdateMyanmar News Update
On Thursday 15 March, Mark Field, Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued a declaration to update the House of Commons on Burma. He informed the House that the British government "will maintain pressure on Burma to ease the secure, volunteer and worthy returns of Rohingya Muslims under UNHCR supervision and also to tackle the root causes of force adequately and comprehensively".
Shadow Minister Helen Goodman replied: "We must get back to the question of how best to guarantee the secure, volunteer and worthy returns and a lasting refugee life for Rohingya and how we can make sure that those who are guilty of the horrors against them are put on trial". Join @Houseof Commons on Twitter for UK House of Commons Chamber update.
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Myanmar Update: Latest escalation of violence in Rakhine State - Myanmar
Last Friday early last Friday with over 100 people, Rohingya fighters launched a co-ordinated assault on more than 30 Burma policemen in the northern part of the state of Rakhine. It is a significant trend, as it is the biggest force escalating since a similar Rohingya offensive in October 2016.
Burma's army's reaction to the assault involved the raping and murder of civilians, the cremation of Rohingya towns and the expulsion of ten thousand displaced persons, and resulted in a UN inquiry into the event and its consequences. There are already widely spread accounts of the random, joint sanctioning of the Rohingya mob.
Heartbreaking accounts of 100 fatalities and rape are complemented by videos in various newspapers showing the cremation of entire Rohingya victims. During the last 6 violent upheavals, the last 6 working day forcibly evacuated tens of thousands in Burma's Muslim and Buddhist communities, and more than 18,000 Rohingya escapees have invaded neighboring Bangladesh, crossin' the river and carry what they can.
It is difficult to collect and verify proof of the horrors as the rest of the planet depends on information through the use of it. Burma's government's refusal of UN experts and reporters to enter the affected areas has caused a major press scare. Goverment authorities have been filling the void by saying that the armed forces are "evacuating" and that the Rohingya are themselves incinerating their own communities.
As a result of the realities of "evacuation operations", many demands for transnational measures have been made. Rakhine Commission, set up in October to examine the October violent incident and consisting of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, has urged the Burma Armed Forces to show caution in its response to this week's outrages. Similarly, the Arakan Rohingya National Organization has demanded the establishment of UN shelters inside Burma for Rohingya returnees, and the Rohingya Organization of Burma UK has urged the UN Security Council to act.
The United Kingdom appealed to the Security Council to meet last night to debate the continuing violent situation in Rakhine State. It is a welcome step forward from the fact that the British authorities have failed to correctly emphasise the Rohingya's distress during state inspections.