FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills-Grasslands and Official Opposition Critic for International Human Rights and Religious Freedom, is travelling to Burma (Myanmar) from August 16-20 as part of an international delegation committed to addressing threats to the right of freedom of religion or belief in the country.
Addressing the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority will be a priority for Anderson and the delegation. For decades, the Rohingya have been denied their citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to basic services. In recent years, inter-ethnic violence and prejudice amongst Burmese citizens has intensified, displacing many Rohingya to the confines of ghettoized camps, and forcing thousands of others to flee the country at great risk to themselves. Anderson and his colleagues are expected to demand action from the new government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on this humanitarian crisis.
Anderson joins the delegation as a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB), a network of over 100 parliamentarians from around the world committed to the defence of religious freedom for everyone, everywhere. Anderson and his IPPFoRB colleagues will be joined by members of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and other parliamentarians from Norway, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand.
“In June, Canada’s human rights sub-committee released an eye-opening report on the Rohingya minority,” said Anderson. “Many witnesses did not shy away from calling their persecution ‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing’. These are words that we will not ignore. It is crucial that we let Burma’s leaders know that the world is watching, and waiting for some concrete action to curb this intolerance.”
More information on the report of the Sub-Committee on International Human Rights is available here.