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CoI Petition Delivered to British Foreign Office

06 May 2011: UK-based six representitives from Burma and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) handed to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) a petition with 5,323 signatures calling for a UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into crimes against humanity in Burma today.

The Head of the South-East Asia and Pacific Department at the FCO received the petition from a delegation including representatives from CSW, Burma’s National League for Democracy-Liberated Area (NLD-LA), and ethnic nationalities including Bwa Bwa Phan of the Karen Community Association UK, Van Biak Thang of the Chin Human Rights Organisation, Ring Du Lachyung of the Kachin National Organisation UK and Maung Tun Khin of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.

Benedict Rogers, CSW’s East Asia Team Leader, said: “We are grateful to the UK for the support it has given to Burma’s movement for democracy and human rights, and for its support for the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation for an inquiry into crimes against humanity.”

“The purpose of this petition is to encourage the UK to increase its efforts, to build an international coalition of support that could lead to the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry by the UN. The time for action is long overdue, particularly as the regime continues to attack civilians in ethnic states and jail and torture more than 2,000 prisoners of conscience. The crisis in Shan State and continuing offensives in Karen State make it even more imperative to take action.”

“We hope that the UK and other countries already supportive of the idea will work together to ensure an end to the culture of impunity in which the regime has been allowed to violate international law.”

CSW, and Partners Relief and Development that organised the petition urge urge the UK, as a member of the Security Council, to provide increased, proactive leadership in support of the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana.

At least 15 countries have expressed support for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry, in addition to the United Kingdom, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States.

CSW also urges the British government to raise war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma at the UN Security Council debate on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict next week, and to work to build an international coalition of support for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry and an end to impunity in Burma.


© Chinland Guardian

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