Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar: ‘We must attempt to have interaction Aung San Suu Kyi’ – Home | The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti


Monday November 13, 2017

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Since August of this 12 months, 600,000 refugees have fled Myanmar to flee what the United Nations is asking ethnic cleaning.

As Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae visited refugee camps in southern Bangladesh close to Cox’s Bazaar. He says listening to the small print of what folks have been by way of is “horrific.”

Bob Rae

Bob Rae, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s particular envoy to Myanmar, stated Myanmar chief Aung San Suu Kyi instructed him she is dedicated to serving to carry the Rohingya house. He stated, nevertheless, that she should provide rebadurances that they are going to be secure. (CBC)

‘There are numerous accounts of bodily violence, badual violence, rape … and persons are going to must be held to account for these.’
– Bob Rae

Here is a part of Bob Rae’s dialog with The Current‘s Anna Maria Tremonti:

Bob Rae: I feel there’s typically little doubt that there was an rebel badault on (Aug.) 25th that was fairly well-planned and fairly systematic.

And simply because it had taken place within the earlier October, what occurs when there may be an rebel badault by this group known as ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), the (Myanmar) military actually overdoes it. You know the military simply responds with — to place it mildly — a really very heavy hand and a substantial amount of brutality. And that entails burning down the villages, clearing folks out.


A Rohingya refugee lady who crossed the border from Myanmar carries her daughter and searches for badist as they wait to obtain permission from the Bangladeshi military to proceed their option to the refugee camps, Oct. 17, 2017. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

There are numerous accounts of bodily violence, badual violence, rape, and people accounts are going to must be listened to, and persons are going to must be held to account for these, as a result of these are completely unacceptable breaches of individuals’s human rights and human dignity.  And there’s sufficient tales and sufficient proof of that to warrant a a lot deeper investigation, which I am actually hoping goes to proceed to happen. 

The extra issue, which is I feel equally troubling, is not only the actions of the army, however the reality that there have been vigilante teams who have been additionally participating in efforts shifting folks out and getting them to depart. 

‘Even in one of the best of circumstances one may envisage in Myanmar, it should take fairly a very long time to get a number of hundred thousand folks again.’
– Bob Rae

AMT: So what did you inform Prime Minister Trudeau earlier than he met with Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday?

BR: Well I instructed him two issues. First of all, I instructed him concerning the circumstances within the camp and that they are surely horrible. And that, in actual fact, is an entire separate challenge when it comes to what we’ve got to do as a world as a result of the dangers in that camp are severe: dangers of mudslides, epidemics, water shortages within the dry season after which heavy, heavy flooding and within the moist season.


Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to succeed in to Teknaf, Bangladesh, Nov. 12, 2017. (Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

Even in one of the best of circumstances one may envisage in Myanmar, it should take fairly a very long time to get a number of hundred thousand folks again, notably after their villages have been burned they usually have nowhere to return to. So that is going to pose a severe humanitarian problem for us. 

‘ The authorities has to interact with the remainder of the world in looking for options.’
– Bob Rae

The second was that, as troublesome as it’s, we’ve got to attempt to have interaction Aung San Suu Kyi because the state counselor and as representing, form of, the civilian facet of the federal government, in understanding that numerous the reasons which have been given … can now not be denied and that we’ve got to discover a option to cope with it. The authorities has to interact with the remainder of the world in looking for options. And that was the start of the dialog with Aung San Suu Kyi (and Prime Minister Trudeau).

Aung San Suu Kyi Justin Trudeau

Myanmar’s chief Aung San Suu Kyi greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Da Nang, Vietnam, the place leaders gathered for the beginning of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. (CBC)

AMT: What was that dialog like?

BR: Tough. It was troublesome. She’s a really extraordinarily disciplined lady, in a way of very cautious what she says, very centered and, the place she felt there have been there have been exaggerations or factual errors in what the world was saying or what the proof was, she was very insistent that Myanmar itself would take the lead in resolving these points. She stated that the refugees can be allowed again.

Rohingya refugees Bangladesh border guards

Over a half one million Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh since late August through the outbreak of violence in Rakhine state inflicting a humanitarian disaster within the area with continued challenges for support companies.

She stated it might take time as a result of there wanted to be methods of creating positive that folks might be settled and insisted that in her nation, folks of various races and religions have been welcome. And she very a lot regretted that horrible issues that occurred however needed to maneuver on and he or she saved saying, ‘I am a sensible individual and I need to guarantee that we make some higher progress.’

AMT: So she stated they’d be allowed again. Did she gave any timeframe?

BR: No timeframe. But she burdened the truth that individuals who have been residing in Myanmar would be capable to come again. Now she additionally burdened that this was going to be a bilateral negotiation between Myanmar and Bangladesh and that the overseas minister of Bangladesh was coming quickly. 

‘It shouldn’t be inconceivable for folks to get to Rakhine State.’
– Bob Rae

AMT: And so does that imply that she does not need the worldwide neighborhood being a part of any negotiations?

BR: That’s an actual challenge and it should be a difficulty in future discussions. The worldwide neighborhood — the INGO’s (International Non-Governmental Organizations), the UN organizations — have had little or no entry to Rakhine State, and little or no entry to have the ability to journey and see what’s truly occurring. 

Bangladesh Myanmar Attacks

A Rohingya woman carries a toddler and rests at Palangkhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae says he met with children on the camp to listen to their tales. (Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/Associated Press)

It shouldn’t be inconceivable for folks to get to Rakhine State. And, in actual fact, at one level she saved saying, you realize, that it was horrible what was taking place as a result of the Rakhine State was so stunning. And I identified to her that there was no method that I may know that as a result of I hadn’t been allowed to go. And she stated, ‘Well the subsequent time, you can go.’ So possibly they’re going to begin opening up a bit. I do not know. 

*This transcript was edited for readability and size.*

Listen to the complete dialog above.

This section was produced by The Current’s Kristin Nelson.

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