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House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Shadow Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports they have received that the Burmese Army is launching military attacks against civilians in Shan State, Burma; and what is their response to the reports.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

The Government are deeply concerned that the reported breakdown of a ceasefire agreement with the Shan State Army North has led to renewed conflict in Shan State. We have received reports which allege that the Burmese army has attacked local communities, whom they suspect of assisting the armed groups, and perpetuated human rights abuses. We understand that the fighting is taking place in the north-central area of Shan State, which is difficult to access and as such the information is hard to verify. In a Security Council debate on 10 May we called upon all armed actors, including the Burmese army and ethnic militia, to protect the civilian population. The Government secured a strongly worded human rights resolution at the March UN Human Rights Council which called on the Burmese Government to end continuing grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the targeting of civilians in conflict areas. The UK also highlighted our serious concern during a meeting with other EU member states on 25 May.

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