Canada to speak up for Ro­hingya Mus­lims at UN

Lethbridge Herald - - HEADLINE | NEWS CANADA & BEYOND - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — TORONTO

Canada’s for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter says the gov­ern­ment is very con­cerned about the plight of Ro­hingya Mus­lims in Myan­mar and plans to speak up on their be­half.

Chrys­tia Free­land says both she and Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau plan to “fo­cus” on the is­sue at next week’s United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York.

She did not elab­o­rate on the spe­cific ac­tions she or Trudeau plan to take.

Free­land also told a Toronto rally in sup­port of the Ro­hingya that she also dis­cussed the is­sue with Kofi An­nan, the former UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral who is cur­rently lead­ing a com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cri­sis un­fold­ing in Myan­mar.

She says an­other key fo­cus for Canada is get­ting the am­bas­sador into the area of heav­i­est con­flict to re­port first-hand on the sit­u­a­tion.

Myan­mar’s pow­er­ful mil­i­tary is ac­cused of torch­ing the homes of 400,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims, forc­ing them to flee to neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh as refugees. Myan­mar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has come un­der harsh in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism for fail­ing to speak out against the vi­o­lence, with some ar­gu­ing she should be stripped of both her No­bel Peace Prize and her hon­orary Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship.

Free­land did not ad­dress those con­cerns, but told the rally that Trudeau ex­pressed his “very strong con­dem­na­tion” of the treat­ment of the Ro­hingya di­rectly to Suu Kyi ear­lier this week.

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