THE Burma Task Force on Thursday strongly condemned an “unfortunate” tweet by the Canadian ambassador to Indonesia, Peter MacArthur, about how much he was enjoying his New Year’s Day in Myanmar, without a word on the atrocities taking place in that country.
“This is not appropriate coming from a Canadian diplomat,” said Ahmed Ramadan, Executive Director of Burma Task Force Canada. “We are disappointed that someone representing Canada internationally can be so insensitive that he would display affection for the landscape of a country engaged in genocide while children are starving and women are being raped. Villages are being burned to the ground, and hundreds of thousands have fled persecution and horror.”
Burma Task Force said that while the tweet has since been deleted, it is not enough to rectify the situation and called on MacArthur to issue a statement apologizing for ignoring the reality of a country engaged in genocide. It said that he should visit Rakhine State and the Bangladeshi Refugee Camps as this would give him a clearer picture of the true scenery in Burma.
Burma Task Force Canada said that it continues to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland “to support Rohingya’s population by leading the international community in an aggressive stance against Myanmar’s leadership and the establishment of an international peacekeeping force that will ensure the security of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.”
It noted: “Canada must acknowledge the genocide taking place in Myanmar. Minister Freeland has referred to the atrocities in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, the world must not stand by while this horror unfolds. No representative of Canada should display a disregard for a humanitarian crisis taking place before the world. It would not have been acceptable in Bosnia, or in Rwanda, and it is not acceptable in Burma.”
Burma Task Force is a coalition of 19 American and Canadian Muslim organizations working to end genocide in Burma. It is accredited as an NGO by the UN.