Burma: Rohingya

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd July 2016.

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Photo of Gavin Shuker Gavin Shuker Labour/Co-operative, Luton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Myanmar government on steps to prevent hate speech and incitement of violence against Rohingya people in that country.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

This is an issue of serious concern in light of the extensive inter-communal violence of 2012 and the large-scale Buddhist nationalist protests seen across Rakhine at the start of July this year. The British Government has repeatedly raised our concerns with the Burmese Government at the highest levels, and will continue to do so. The former Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the member for East Devon (Mr Swire), raised this a number of times, including in July 2015 last year during his visit to Burma, when he also visited Rakhine. We are encouraged to see that the new Burmese Government has started to take real steps to try to defuse tensions in Rakhine while making progress for the Rohingya, including through forming a cross-Government Rakhine committee and re-starting the citizenship verification exercise.

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