Activists present Myanmar petition

UK foreign secretary urged to back UN rapporteur's recommendations

Mike MacLachlan, London, United Kingdom

May 9, 2011

A petition calling for a United Nations commission of inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity in Myanmar has been delivered to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the United Kingdom. The 5,323-signature petition was handed in by representatives of the rights groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Partners Relief and Development (PRD), a US-based NGO helping people, mainly children, in Myanmar’s conflict zones and in refugee camps on the Thai border. With them were representatives from Myanmar’s National League for Democracy-Liberated Area (NLD-LA), and ethnic nationality groups including the Karen Community Association UK, the Chin Human Rights Organization, the Kachin National Organization and the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK. In a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague accompanying the petition. CSW and PRD said they “warmly welcome the support the UK government has already given” for the recommendation made by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, for the establishment of an inquiry. They asked the UK government “to provide increased, proactive leadership in support of [Quintana’s] recommendations.”