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Burma: Politics and Government

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of human rights violations in eastern Burma in the last 12 months; and what representations he has made to the Burmese Government on this matter. (294539)

The UK is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in eastern Burma and reports earlier in the year of renewed fighting between the Karen National Union and the Democratic Karen Buddhist army, who are supported by the Burmese army.

Attacks carried out by the Burmese army and their Karen client organisations on civilians in Karen State have been particularly intense in the last two years. We have repeatedly called for a halt to such offensives and have urged both the military regime and the Karen National Union to intensify their efforts to find a peaceful settlement that will bring about a permanent end to the conflict.

On 11 June 2009, the Czech Presidency of the EU issued a statement calling for an end to the hostilities. It expressed particular concern about the humanitarian impact of the conflict. We fully support this call and our embassy in Rangoon continues to monitor the situation closely. Our embassy most recently raised human rights issues with the Burmese authorities on 18 October 2009.