The mass exodus of Rohingya people following human rights violations makes it necessary for the EU to reassess its relationship with Myanmar, according to a nine-member European Parliament delegation that visited Myanmar and Bangladesh from 12-16 February.
The Chair of the delegation Pier Antonio Panzeri in a press statement Friday said “the European Parliament has had concerns about the human rights situation in Myanmar and after a five-day visit these concerns remain as the human rights situation is clearly deteriorating in various regions of the country and affecting many diverse cultural, ethnic and religious groups, human rights defenders and journalists.” “This is shown by the issue of the Rohingya people -who are being driven out of their lands, persecuted, and even killed,” he said.
The delegation visited the refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh, which are sheltering the population in dire conditions after their mass exodus. They held meetings with civil society organisations and religious leaders who confirmed the great difficulties that the democratic transition is facing. The delegation also met with ministers, including the Minister of defence, and parliamentarians in Myanmar..
“Unfortunately, the current situation does not allow us to be confident of this objective being achieved, since the on-going process has slowed down and there is a serious risk of returning to the past,” said the statement.
“The EU must reconsider its relationship with Myanmar and develop new policies based on incentives and disincentives in each sector, as well as robust conditions,” it stressed.
The EP delegation called for full implementation of the 23 November arrangement between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the return of refugees and a modification of the 1982 law on citizenship with a view to solving the problem of stateless people.
It called for “effective monitoring of the human rights situation in the country as well as unhindered humanitarian access to Rakhine State, and an independent international investigation into the mass atrocities, which have been committed in Rakhine State since August 2017, in order to ensure accountability and avoid impunity.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency