|Government assure Sadiq Khan MP that aid is reaching Rohingya community in Burma|
|Monday, 20 August 2012 09:53|
The Secretary of State for International Development has confirmed to Sadiq Khan MP that British aid is reaching the Rohingya community in Burma.
There are fears of an escalating humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, west Burma, following a period of state sanctioned violence towards the Muslim Rohingya community by the military junta. These allegations were first raised by the human rights organisation Human Rights Watch in their report “The Government Could Have Stopped This”, published on 1st August 2012.
The allegations, that at least 78 people have been killed and over 100,000 people have been displaced by the actions of the ruling military junta, have caused huge concern around the world that a humanitarian crisis will follow.
Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, has made a number of representations to the British government to ensure that aid is reaching those most in need.
In his response to Sadiq’s letter, the Secretary of State for International Development confirmed that the British government’s contribution of aid is reaching the Rohingya community in Burma through appropriate UN agencies.
The Secretary of State also confirmed that the British government is ‘particularly concerned about the detention of, and reported targeting of, aid workers in Rakhine State’ and that they are ‘engaged in discussions with the UN about the (Response) Plan to ensure that it meets the most critical humanitarian needs’.
Sadiq Khan MP said: “I welcome this initial response from the Secretary of State for International Development, but I will continue to press the British government to ensure that they are doing all they can to prevent further violence, provide aid to those who need it, and help the Rohingya community return home.
“I am also glad to receive confirmation that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development will be working closely together on this issue. My fears are that, without a co-ordinated response from both departments, there is a risk that the persecution of Rohingya could continue and/or the humanitarian crisis could escalate.
“Human Rights Watch claims that security forces have killed and raped members of the Rohingya group and arrested hundreds of others.
“This week Channel 4 have the first reports from any Western journalists in which they filmed the previously bustling town of Narzi, in the city of Sittwe, now a deserted wasteland – homes raised to the ground – and its 10,000 inhabitants nowhere to be seen. Channel 4 also managed to speak to refugees who are now languishing in camps far from their home town with little food or adequate resources to sustain them.”
Promoted by Tooting Labour Party on behalf Sadiq Khan and Tooting Labour Party, all of 273 Balham High Road, London, SW17 7BD. Hosted by 34SP.com, 349 Bury Old Road, Manchester, M25 1PY.