Going to Burma

On the way to Burma

The International Development Committee: Myanmar Visas Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make a declaration to the House on the Burma government's failing to grant visa to members of the International Development Committee.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. I am profoundly disillusioned, as he is, that the Government of Burma has not issued a visa for members of the International Development Committee. This dissatisfaction has been reported to the Myanmar government.

It is doing important work in monitoring the British assistance programmes in Burma and beyond. Mr Honorable, the Chairman of the International Committee on Development, was to leave on 27 February and the remainder of the committee on 28 February. It is understandable that when no visa decisions were taken until early last night, the committee refused to go to Burma.

Enlargement of the Committee is expected to proceed with the second part of its journey, namely to Bangladesh to monitor the work of the Ministry of International Development there, as well as assistance for the Rohingya evacuees who have been driven to Cox's Bazar and the surrounding area. Myanmar authorities have given three grounds for refusal: first, that there is an prolonged day off in Burma; second, that Rakhine state is still off limits for safety reason; and lastly - I think the chairman of the IDC referred to this in a news item last night - that they were unfortunate that some members of the IDC had subscribed to a document urging the Burma armed forces seniors general to be accountable for Burma's armed behavior in Rakhine.

and has actively supported the work of the International Development Committee. The DFID Burma worked in close cooperation with the IDC to create a complete travel route for a number of different travel related activities in the state. UK embassador to Burma, Andrew Patrick, and other FCO officers insisted on repeated requests for visa approval, both in Burma and through the Myanmar consulate in London.

On the phone I myself talked to the Myanmar embassy in order to increase the visa number. Mr President, I hear you have written to the Burmese goodwill envoy and he plans to respond in a formal way to explain the reason for the rejection. DFID has made the UK one of the biggest individual contributors to the Bangladesh and Burma crises.

It is a very unfortunate choice to refuse visa and will stop the committee from seeing part of DFID's work first handed. This government must and will, however, continue to support the world' s impoverished and most vulnerable population. We will work with DFID to make sure that the Committee has all the information it needs to assess the program in Burma efficiently.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. This is a lessons to be learned by the government of Burma. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

I would like to thank on the whole committee all those who have worked unbelievably harshly in recent times to resolve this issue, in particular you, Mr Speaker, who, as the Minister quite correctly said, has written in person to the Burma ambassador in London; the Minister himself for his interventions, for which I am very thankful; the DFID personnel; and the Burma delegation, in particular the UK embassador.

This committee should now be on its way to Burma to see some of the amazing work DFID is funding in that state. Last weekend we were informed that our visa had been authorised here in the UK - it was worked on and prepared - but the Myanmar ambassy in London was waiting for its government's definitive authorisation.

Our passes were given back to us without a visa last night. Of course, the government's failing to issue these permits is preventing us from doing our work as a special committee to monitor how aid is distributed in the state. In his reply to this pressing issue today, I thank the Minister for explaining the reason for refusing our visa.

There will be some arguing - some have claimed this over night in the mainstream press - that we should therefore stop UK assistance to Burma. Lastly, I believe that this event is an effort - the youngest of many - by the authorities in Burma to quieten the resistance to their action against the Rohingya. Editing just sent has not been stored.

Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Let me assure him that my friend, in particular the Secretary of State for International Development, is working very hard to re-organise the programs we have in Burma to meet many of his needs.

In addition, we have made funds available to both the Red Cross and the World Food Programme to help in the north of Rakhin, on the Burmese rather than the Bangladeshi side of the frontier. In all honesty, given the very serious human consequences that bad rain and hurricanes could have on the people - we are going into the hurricane storm period or so within the next few months - that is something we will see very openly.

In the Council, we have reached agreement on the consequences of the work to implement some specific penalties against parts of the Burmese army. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Mr President, I strongly call on the Minister to invite the Ambassador of Burma to the Foreign Office to declare how seriously this House is taking the fact that the committee cannot go there to monitor the largest humanitarian assistance program in that state.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. As I can see from his visit to Burma at the moment, there was a feeling that after centuries of armed domination we were heading for a kind of democratic transition.

On my right hand, my friend's first point about the Myanmar Ambassador, we will of course bring him before us, probably next weekend, to voice our profound discontent at the actions of his government. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

Myanmar's government's rejection of the International Development Committee's visa application is obviously outrageous. The ban on persons seems to be the answer of the government of Burma to criticism: it has also outlawed the UN fact-finding missions, the UN Secretary-General, the UN refugee agency and the SAB. There is every sense in the International Development Committee visiting Myanmar to see what happens next.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. And we are doing our best to ensure such accessibility at bilateral level and within the global fellowship. Persons who have been known to Aung San Suu Kyi for many years have at least visited Naypyidaw to inform her of the discontent and worries of the entire group.

I believe we both agreed that the army has the stick to everything that is going on in Burma. Bishop Auckland's honorary member (Helen Goodman) pointed out that we are spending 100 million a year on relief efforts in Burma.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. I do not think we would want to deserrate on a cross-party footing - perhaps in Burma's greatest moment of need - some of the countrys forces in favour of this area.

My friend will realise the profound concerns that we cannot go on as if all our dealings with the Myanmar administration will go on like this. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

Obviously, I am very frustrated to be in this House with my International Development Committee counterparts when we should be on a scheduled plane to Burma to see the good work DFID is doing in this area. The DFID has an extensive relief program in Burma, and our task is to see the good work being done there.

Can the Minister tell me what promises can be given for further visitation to Burma to see the substantial work done by DFID in the region, also in the State of Rakhine? Is he going to give us the chance to look for another, more comprehensive statement, as we are a democracy that has been supporting Burma's democracies, in particular Aung San Suu Kyi?

For over 20 years, Aung San Suu Kyi has been working for Burma's democratic cause. Finally, I apologise to the Myanmar administration. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. He and I were speaking this mornings in dismay when it turned out that the Myanmar administration had refused.

While I wish him and the committee well to see as much as possible in Bangladesh, it is a sad state of affairs because it would have been more rewarding for the committee members to visit Sittwe in Rakhine State where they wanted to be.

It must be acknowledged that it is the Myanmar army that is behind many of the horrors that have taken place since 25 August. Myanmar is not a part of the Rome Charter of the International Criminal Course. Consequently, the ICC would only have competence if Burma turned to the tribunal - an unlikely situation - or if there were a UN Security Council expulsion, which is also unlikely for the same reason I have given.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. I am profoundly disillusioned as a member of the committee that we are not leaving, especially because we have tried to see how these horribly vulnerable individuals are dealt with on both the Myanmar and Bangladesh sides.

There was a public day and it was quite safe to go to Burma, but we were ready to go if we could. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

As many will know, I was a very new minister when I first spoke on these tragic issues in early September, and my two trips to Burma - Sittwe in Rakhine and Rangoon and Naypyidaw - and the chance to see Bangladesh, have changed my grasp of the whole picture.

Such a committee, which is right to hold a government department accountable, must be able to follow the work on the spot. Can I express my appreciation to the Secretary of State, although it may be a matter for the committee and not for me to do so?

It is aware that we need to make some major changes in the way we look at the programs, especially in Burma. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

That is, of course, a great disappointment for the select committee. Would he be able to discuss with others in the Security Council the feasibility of a motion for a resolution referring those guilty of the horrors to the International Criminal Court? Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error:

It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. The United Kingdom received the UN Security Council's very first declaration on Burma last November - a declaration by the President - in a decade's time and we will make sure that the Council focuses its attentions and attentions on what is and has been going on in Burma. Editing just sent has not been stored.

Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. I' m very glad that the minister is in his place, because his work on the Burma issue has been quite impressing in these many years. It is with interest that I am speaking, because one of the officials who was in Naypyidaw is the second official from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the official who goes there is also an official from the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

I can only say that it would be a great boon to the Myanmar population and a great boon to relations between the United Kingdom and Burma if they experienced 1% of the information that these two wonderful human beings could provide. Editing just sent has not been stored.

Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. As many MEPs will know that the Foreign Minister was in Burma during the last break and that Aung San Suu Kyi was with her, they will stress the need for the return of asylum seekers to their homes safely and for surveillance by the United Nations High Commissioner for the Status of the Refugee.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Isn' t holding back visa from me and other members of the Committee on Development a prime example of an authority that is trying to protect itself from legal world control?

Would the Minister accept that all this suggests that the multinational fellowship must press much harder for unhindered human aid to the state of Rakhine? Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

As I said at the beginning, in the middle of our discontent, rage and disappointment that we cannot get there, we should keep in mind the interests of those million people in Burma who so urgently need our help and assistance.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. As the Prime Minister's commercial ambassador, I am also very interested in playing my part in the countrys overall prosperity, and as a member of the International Committee on International Cooperation on International Cooperation and Cooperation in Europe I would like to deal with the Kachin, the Karen, the Shan and all other ethnical groups in this area.

Now that the International Development Committee is continuing its work, does the Minister accept that it will only talk to the bangladeshis, the returnees themselves and the non-governmental organizations and take a unilateral stand that the government of Burma could otherwise have assisted?

Is he also of the opinion that this will make the work for those of us who want to see Burma as a whole much more difficult? Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

We must in many ways have an appropriate prospect on this matter, not only from the side of the Bangladeshis, but also from the side of Burma, to see to what degree it is possible to get back to Burma as soon as possible. Can I ask all Members here to remain faithful to Burma and the Myanmar population?

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Of course I am frustrated because one of the committee members denied a visit. Not only Rohingya, but perhaps also Burma's citizens and minority Christians.

Is the government considering holding an urgent meeting to impose penalties not only on Burma, but possibly even on the Aung San Suu Kyi estate here in the United Kingdom? Are we going to immediately look at some of our other relief efforts, such as the 5 million we gave to Yangon University in a Oxford University Oxford grant last months to ensure that this funding is not used for academical work that erodes the Rohingya?

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. It is not clear to me whether the authorities in Burma think that we will now simply give up, flinch and be out.

We' re going to Bangladesh to see part of the issue, but we want to go to Burma and we want to see exactly how our funds are used. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

Our best efforts will be made to make sure that what happens to the Rohingya and other minority groups - those of us who have the interests of Burma and the Myanmar nation at their hearts - continue to enjoy high regard in the coming month and years. Editing just sent has not been stored.

Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. As a former member of the select committee, can I join my friend, the member for Liverpool, West Derby (Stephen Twigg) in the commentary and sharing my dismay at what we saw with the Rohingya?

A lot of my electorate have told me about this and they are relying on boards like the International Committee on Development to shed the spotlight on these murky circumstances and find out what is really going on. It is very uncommon, I suppose, and would not bring Burma into envy.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Will Her Majesty's Government assure me that not a dime of UK taxpayers' funds will go to the Burmese government, which is not only committing acts of genocide but is becoming a villain state?

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. In spite of their government's efforts to disguise the facts, the Burma military's action in Rakhine looks very much like ethnocleans.

Isn' t it appropriate for the whole world to treat them as racial purification? Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error:

It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked. But the Bangladeshi people are overcome with requests for foreign help and the like for foreigners' passports, and they have difficulties getting these cards processed on time, which delays some of the outreach.

Editing just sent has not been stored. Returns the following error: It has already been processed and is waiting to be checked.

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