14th September 2017
Today Members of the European Parliament debated the humanitarian crisis faced by Rohingya Muslims, who are being forced to flee a military insurgency in Myanmar.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s South Asia delegation, told the Parliament that the crisis is “not just about Aung San Suu Kyi”. Myanmar’s generals also bear responsibility for these atrocities, and must be held accountable.
Read Jean’s speech in full below:
“Thank you President, and I also speak in my capacity as Chair of the Delegation for South Asia which covers Bangladesh as one of our countries, and where in the past we visited the Rohingya camps down at Cox’s Bazar. So we know this is something which has been going on for a very long time and where the European Union has been a key funder in terms of supporting the Rohingya people in Bangladesh – the refugees there.
We gather that the EU has currently put in €3m from ECHO funding in light of the current situation and we’d ask how that is actually being spent given that it’s also apparently covering Myanmar. And we know as we’ve just heard, there’s no access for the UN and INGOs in north Rakhine State which is something we need to push to reinstate.
We need a UNHCR-led body down in Bangladesh. But we also need a strong response from the European Union and all its governments, and active diplomacy in the region – not least with the two big powers. Because this is something, as we say, that’s ongoing. People need to be able to return home in dignity with their rights restored. And this is not something which is not just about Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s about the generals and their military power too. Don’t let them off the hook.”