Debates between Mr Gavin Shuker and Mark Field

There have been 1 exchanges between Mr Gavin Shuker and Mark Field

1 Tue 17th October 2017 Oral Answers to Questions
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
6 interactions (303 words)

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Mr Gavin Shuker and Mark Field
Tuesday 17th October 2017

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Mr Gavin Shuker (Luton South) (Lab/Co-op) Hansard

12. What recent representations he has made to his Myanmar counterpart on the treatment of the Rohingya people. [901183]

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific (Mark Field) Hansard

The Foreign Secretary spoke to Aung San Suu Kyi on 7 and 17 September. I met her in Naypyidaw in Burma on 27 September, and the Deputy Foreign Minister at the UN General Assembly on 20 September. We called for an end to the violence in Rakhine state, a safe return for refugees, full humanitarian access, and, most importantly, implementation in full of the Annan Commission’s recommendations.

Break in Debate

Mark Field Hansard
17 Oct 2017, 11:30 a.m.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his thoughtful question. What is going on in Rakhine is a human tragedy and a humanitarian catastrophe. When the UN lifted sanctions in 2011, it was trying to encourage a road towards democracy, which has obviously happened with the election that took place only 18 months ago. With hindsight, one might argue that these sanctions were lifted prematurely. However, a lot of Burma watchers would say that the sanctions did not have a huge effect. There was not a great deal of money from the Burmese military in western bank accounts in the way that applies, for example, to sanctions for Russia, China and elsewhere.

Mr Shuker Hansard
17 Oct 2017, 11:30 a.m.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights described what is happening in Myanmar as

“a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

I happen to agree with him. Does the Minister?

Mark Field Hansard
17 Oct 2017, 11:30 a.m.

As I said, it is a humanitarian catastrophe out there. Sadly, this increasingly appears to be an accurate description of the situation. It is now essential for the Burmese authorities to enact the positive measures that were announced by the State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Thursday evening. They include the establishment of a new civilian-led body to oversee refugee returns and the development of Rakhine into a state in which all communities can live together sustainably.