Local MP meets community to discuss Rohingya crisis

Members of the local Muslim and Bangladeshi community met with Portsmouth South’s new Member of Parliament yesterday to discuss a number of local and international issues.

The meeting, hosted by the Jami Mosque’s committee at its Victoria Road North site, was well attended by community members and included the submission of a petition on the humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya community.

According to the UN, more than 410,000 people have fled Rakhine State for Bangladesh. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights describing this situation as an example of “ethnic cleansing”.

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Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has written with fellow MPs to the Foreign Secretary calling on the government to do more to end the crisis.

Stephen said:

I hugely welcomed the opportunity to meet at the Jami mosque today to discuss with local people how I can continue to put pressure on the government and the international community to bring an end to the humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya community.

The government recently announced that it is suspending military co-operation with Burma’s armed forces. Its immediate priority now must be to build on this announcement by putting pressure on the civilian and military authorities in Burma, in co-ordination with our allies, in order to bring the horrific violence in Rakhine State to an end once and for all.

As well as a complete end to all further violence and the burning of villages, it is vital that those people who have lost their homes and been displaced urgently receive the food, water and medicine they need. The Burmese authorities must allow immediate and full humanitarian access and support for all of the people and communities that have been affected”.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged authorities in Myanmar to end the violence in Rakhine for fear that the situation could destabilise the region.

Stephen added:

Once the cessation of violence and humanitarian access has been achieved, the work of building a lasting peace must begin. This should build on the recommendations of the recently published report by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and include a recognition of the rights and freedoms of the Rohingya people, as well as an end to restrictions on their movement.

The UK and the rest of the international community must stand ready to support that process, but it firstly relies on the civilian and military authorities in Burma living up to their responsibilities within a modern democratic government”.