Statement on ongoing violence, displacement against Muslim minority Rohingyas in Myanmar

(OTTAWA) – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement:

“International human rights groups are reporting that an estimated 370,000 Rohingyas, a stateless, mostly Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority Rakhine state of Myanmar, have crossed the border into Bangladesh since August 25 as a result of village burnings, killings and mass displacement by the Myanmar military.

“While the Myanmar military denies it is targeting civilians, independent reports of horrific violence, and even intentionally set landmines against the Rohingyas are shocking,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said this week that the security operation in Rakhine appears to be ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’. Given what we know, Justin Trudeau must be much clearer in condemning the State of Myanmar, and he must call on the Myanmar military to cease its assault against the Rohingyas. I also call on Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and honorary Canadian citizen, to condemn her state’s horrific actions in the strongest possible terms. Silence is complicity.”

Joe Foster, GPC Human Rights Critic, said: “In July 2011, Elizabeth May stated, ‘The Canadian government as well as the international community needs to keep a close eye on the human rights situation in Burma.’ Unfortunately, the world’s worst fears appear to becoming true.

“The extent and implications of this latest violence remain uncertain. To date, unverified estimations of the agencies working in the area are that 370,000 people are estimated to have crossed the border into Bangladesh. This represents a human rights crisis, one that must be addressed and condemned by the international community, including our Prime Minister. No people of the world should needlessly suffer and be chased off their land by threat of murder while the international community stands idly by.”

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For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Dan Palmer
Press Secretary | Attaché de presse
m: (613) 614-4916