Official Opposition responds to Bob Rae’s Rohingya report

Ottawa, ON – Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, David Anderson, and the Conservative National Caucus Chair, David Sweet, today released the following statement in response to Bob Rae’s Rohingya Report:

“Conservatives acknowledge the work of the Honourable Bob Rae, which has confirmed what we have been hearing all along.

“Today, the crisis is severe. The Rohingya are suffering beatings, torture and lost lives, and hundreds of thousands of people have also been driven from their homes.

“Although the ongoing mistreatment of the Rohingya dates back decades, Mr. Rae’s work confirms that the Myanmar authorities are escalating the violence, something that’s been confirmed by the independent NGOs.

“This is a most pressing concern that requires swift action. The present circumstances in Bangladesh are not sustainable for the Rohingya people to return home and ensure justice is served.

“The Government of Canada must show leadership by taking real action with international partners, particularly Commonwealth nations, like Bangaladesh. In fact, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney applied pressure on the Apartheid Government of South Africa to end its deplorable treatment of non-Africans.

“This report is full of lofty language but little on concrete steps of action to pressure the Burmese Military and Government to end their actions against the Rohingya. Instead the report inadequately recommends the rebuilding of Rahkine State.

“We clearly have seen and heard of the tragic suffering and injustice that the Rohingya people have endured for too long.

“It is time to finally take action. We call on the government to use all political and diplomatic tools available to them. The Liberals should make full use of the legislative powers we’ve given them to hold all those responsible, including within Myanmar’s civilian government, for the unacceptable persecution and genocide of the Rohingya people.”