The founder of The Chandos attended the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Burma in the House of Lords on 30th April.
It was devoted to the crisis for the Rohingya Muslims and rallied an impressive group of those involved with attempts to mediate a peaceful resolution to this serious issue.
With the lifting of sanctions on Burma & the influx of international business, there has been a widespread perception that all is now okay in Burma. While dramatic progress has been made there are still regions seeing chronic violence, particularly the states of Kachin (Northern Burma) & Rakhine (to the west).
Speaking at the APPG was David Mepham, who as director of Human Rights Watch, talked of overwhelming evidence of state involvement in a form of ethnic cleansing. This was supported by Rushanara Ali, the Shadow Minister for International Affairs, who had recently returned from the region.
Left to right; Lord Alton, David Mepham (Human Rights Watch), Baroness Kinnock (Chair), Rushanara Ali (Shadow Minister for International Affairs) & Mark Farmaner (in profile with dark suit)
The Chandos founder asked why the committee felt, even if she could make no statement, Daw Suu could not meet with representatives of the Rohingya Muslims, particularly U Kyaw Min, appointed by herself.
None on the committee could understand this either and the chair, Baroness Kinnock declared that it was now vital for Daw Suu to bring together all relevant parties for discussions.
This lack of cooperation in Burma is surely a burning issue right now and one requiring an urgent resolution to avoid the prospect of further bloodshed.
2nd from left; Zoya Phan, Anna Roberts, Wai Hnin (all BCUK). Behind them; Ko Aung & Peter Popham & just behind Peter Popham; the representative of Ben Rogers (CSW)
After the Meeting Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Muslims in the UK, thanked the founder for his intervention, especially as someone who was not one of them.
The founder with Tun Khin, U Ba Sein & his wife, in Westminster Hall,
near the spot where Suu Kyi gave her address to both Houses of Parliament.