Burma

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any review of the training being provided to the Burmese Army has examined concerns about the shooting and killing of Sai Sarm Tip in eastern Shan State on 12 December 2014 by Burmese army troops from Light Infantry Brigade 573.

Photo of Lord Astor of Hever Lord Astor of Hever The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

We have not conducted a formal review of the education provided to the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) since the killing of Sai Sarm Tip in eastern Shan State on 12 December 2014, about whose death we were concerned. Incidents such as this highlight the continued requirement for fundamental reform of the Burmese military. We do not provide any training that enhances the combat capability of the Tatmadaw. Since December 2014 we have delivered two educational courses to the Tatmadaw focusing on democratic accountability and rule of law which included modules on human rights issues. We have consulted extensively with members of ethnic armed groups, civil society and the political opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and there is support of our approach. Aung San Suu Kyi also attended an event during our latest education course in January. While we recognise that defence education remains a sensitive issue, without engaging with the Tatmadaw our ability to influence their behaviour and bind them into a long term process of political reform, including improving their human rights record, will be limited.

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