Trudeau speaks on Rohingya, rights
MANILA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the plight of Rohingya refugees and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines at a summit of Asian and Western leaders yesterday, sensitive human rights issues skirted by almost all the others.
There was no pressure from United States President Donald Trump over the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs at a meeting on Monday with President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the summit.
A joint statement after the meeting said the two sides “underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential, and agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programmes”.
However, Trudeau said during his conversation with Duterte in Manila, he “mentioned human rights, rule of law and specifically extrajudicial killings as being issues that Canada is concerned with”.
“The president was receptive to my comments, and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange.”
More than 3,900 pushers and users have been killed in the war on drugs that Duterte declared when he took office last year.
His government says the police act in self-defence, but critics say executions are taking place with no accountability.
Duterte cursed Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, last year for raising concerns about the war on drugs.
He subsequently declared that he was breaking with the US, a close ally of the Philippines since World War 2.
Trump, by contrast, said on Monday he had a “great relationship” with Duterte.
Trudeau said he also met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and raised the plight of Rohingya refugees, although he did not mention the Muslim minority by name.
“This issue is a tremendous concern to Canada and to many countries around the world.” Reuters
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the AseanCanada 40th anniversary commemorative summit in Manila yesterday.