Canada calls for action on critical situation in Myanmar; Opposition slams Trudeau government for slow response

Chrystia Freeland

CHRYSTIA Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday said that Canada remains deeply concerned by the critical and worsening situation in Rakhine state in Myanmar and its impact on neighbouring Bangladesh.

She said: “Appreciating their shared responsibility to lead the fledgling democracy of Myanmar, Canada firmly reminds State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the military leadership of their duty to work together and act responsibly in the face of the current humanitarian crisis.

“The violence must end now. The Rohingya should be respected and recognized in the country. To deny their rightful place in Myanmar only weakens the democratic vision Aung San Suu Kyi has fought so hard for throughout her life.

“Canada wants the democratically-elected government to succeed. We will support all efforts to build an inclusive, diverse and stable society in Myanmar. Canadians expect that human rights for the Rohingya—and all other ethnic groups—will be protected.

“The Government of Canada urges the authorities in Myanmar to work together and take measures to protect all civilians from ongoing violence. We welcome the civilian government of Myanmar’s efforts to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Canada continues to call for the full, unimpeded resumption of humanitarian assistance activities.”


OFFICIAL Opposition Deputy Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Garnett Genuis, criticized the Liberal Government’s “slow and inadequate response” to the violence facing the Rohingya people in Burma [Myanmar].

Genuis said: “The Conservative Party of Canada believes in defending human rights both here at home and around the world. This is an issue that we have been raising in the House of Commons throughout the past two years.

“I have raised the plight of the Rohingya people 13 times in the Commons. The Liberal Government has consistently failed to adequately address this issue vis-à-vis the Government of Burma and its head, Aung San Suu Kyi, an honorary Canadian citizen.

“Rohingya Muslims face escalating violence in Rakhine State and elsewhere in Burma, and yet not only has the government of Aung San Suu Kyi not stopped the violence, but our Prime Minister has failed to publicly call on her to do so.

“Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will continue to raise this issue when the House returns, but we hope to see stronger action in the meantime. The violence has gone on for far too long, and Canada should be a leader when it comes to standing up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the world.”