Human Rights: Burma

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:44 pm on 18th January 2017.

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Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:44 pm, 18th January 2017

The right hon. Gentleman of course makes a number of important points. On the work that is going on and what has happened since the election, he will be aware that the new Burmese Government released 300 political prisoners, began the abolition of draconian laws, initiated the peace process that I talked about and established the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, led by Kofi Annan. We have to give a huge amount of credit to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the work she has done in leading Burma to this stage. I agree with him that we need to keep pressing on humanitarian issues and to make sure that the rights of minorities are respected. However, as he will know, the military remain heavily involved in Burmese politics and they wrote the 2008 constitution, which grants them 25% of seats in Parliament, unelected.