MP meets with minister to discuss Rohingya crisis
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 March 2018
Anne Main MP has met with Foreign Office minister Mark Field after lobbying his department to help the Rohyingya refugees.
The minister met members of the all-party parliamentary group on Bangladesh and Burma, which Mrs Main chairs, to discuss the Myanmar minority who have been forced out of the country by its government.
Mrs Main said: “I am grateful the minister answered our calls and came to address the group. I have no doubt about his passion and desire to improve this awful situation. We must not let this dreadful humanitarian tragedy slip from the news.”
The St Albans MP visited Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh last September and has pushed the UK government to do more for them. The government has promised over £30m for the region.
At the meeting, Mr Field made a short speech then took questions from MPs and peers and spoke about the government’s commitment to finding a diplomatic solution for the Rohyinga, who were stripped of citizenship by Myanmar’s former military government in 1982, when the county was still called Burma.
He agreed with Mrs Main that greater pressure needed to be exerted on the Myanmar government by other countries, and raised the possibility of a UN Security Council resolution to hold them to account.
Two permanent members of the council, China and Russia, vetoed a resolution in the UN General Assembly last year which urged Myanmar’s military to end their campaign against the Rohyinga.
Mrs Main said after the meeting: “I was pleased with the minister’s frank responses. I can tell he cares deeply about this issue and he wants the best for the refugees.
“The fact we are the largest individual bilateral donor to the crisis speaks volumes. We must also look to make sure the staggering estimate of $1 billion in humanitarian aid needed for the camps next year goes to the right places, and not into the hands of people looking to exploit the Rohingya.
“I hope the government continue to lead on this and we see further international support for the Rohingya, especially with monsoon season on the way.”