Letter 20120712 Harper Burma

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Letter 20120712 Harper Burma

The Right Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., B.A., M.A. House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0A6

July 12, 2012 Dear Mr Harper,

The Canadian Council of Muslim Women, an affiliate member of The National Council of Women [NCWC], has requested that I convey to you, and your Government, its deep concern about recent events in Burma, where thousands of Rohingya Muslims have recently been massacred in the Arakan region. According to Platform, a U.K.-based human rights organization, six thousand homes belonging to Rohingya Muslims were burned during the unrest. A group of extremist Rakhine nationalists killed or burned alive at least 650 Rohingya Muslims and raped hundreds of women in the region between June 10th to 28th. At least 1,200 Muslims are reported missing and more than 80,000 displaced.

This recent massacre is not a new genocide of Muslims in Burma. In 1942 Rakhine nationalists massacred 5,000 Muslims in Minbya and Mrohaung Townships. Since then the government has denied citizenship rights to Rohingya Muslims, subjected them to forced labour, required them to seek government permission to marry, confiscated their lands, restricted them from traveling within the country and forbidden them from having more than two children per family. They are considered “resident foreigners”. According to Human Rights Watch children as young as seven years old have been seen in forced labour teams. The Burmese army and police conduct arbitrary violence upon these Rohingya Muslims.

According to the United Nations the Rohingya Muslims are the most persecuted minority of the world. Many have been forced to flee to Bangladesh and Malaysia to escape the violence and discrimination.

NCWC policy supports all U.N. Conventions that have been signed and ratified by a Canadian Government including the Convention on Political and Civil Rights, the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CEDAW and the Rights of the Child. This atrocity violates all these Conventions. We stand with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and call upon your Government to speak for these oppressed people and demand the Burmese government accept its responsibility to them and redress this horrendous situation.


Denise Mattok


National Council of Women of Canada.

P.O. Box 67099                                                                        FOUNDED 1893                                                                            TEL: (613) 232-5025

Ottawa, Ontario                                      IN FEDERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN                                         E-MAIL: ncwc@magma.ca

K2A 4E4                                                           (Incorporated by Act of Parliament of Canada)                                                    WEB SITE: www.ncwc.ca

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