Bangladesh Visit

27th September 2017
The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh, Anne Main, has described the ‘ritual oppression and destruction’ by the Burmese military on the Rohingya people as, ‘ethnic cleansing’, following her visit to the refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.
In a frank and brutal assessment of the current situation on the Burmese-Bangladeshi border, the St Albans MP lamented that, ‘the humanitarian crisis in the region is on a vast scale,’ and, ‘global leaders cannot stand by.’
‘Anyone visiting the camps, and region, can see for themselves what is happening.  It’s ethnic cleansing.  The Rohingya are being driven from their homes and villages in what can only be described as the ritual oppression and destruction of a people.’
Mrs Main led a delegation of Tory MPs, which included Paul Scully and Will Quince, along with former MP David Mackintosh as a part of the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh group.  The MPs visited the Kutupalong and Balukhali camps outside Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh.
Some 450,000 refugees have made their way across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh in what has been described as a worsening crisis.
‘The scale of the crisis is breath-taking.  It is truly harrowing to see the conditions that these people are living in. Almost half a million refugees have fled to makeshift camps in the last month and the situation is at breaking point. The Bangladesh government are doing everything they can but the scale of this humanitarian crisis is overwhelming.     
‘We spoke to many refugees during our time there whose stories were unimaginable.  We were told of young Rohingya boys being castrated to prevent the population expanding and of women being forced to watch the brutal murder of their sons and husbands at the hands of the Burmese military.
Anne praised the efforts of British aid but warned, ‘aid alone won’t solve the problem.’
‘UK aid has helped to provide clothing, shelter and food for people in the camps we visited.’ Mrs Main added that, ‘witnessing first-hand the scale of this problem, it’s clear that more help is needed, and global leaders cannot stand by.’ 
‘I promised those I talked to that I would bring stories of their plight to the House of Commons and will do so as soon as the House sits’.  

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Bangladesh APPG Report

Download the report by the Bangladesh All Party Parliamentary Group: ‘After Rana Plaza’: A report into the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh.

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