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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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City Karen community concerned at treatment in Burma

Friday, April 4, 2014

Meg Munn MP recently met members of the Sheffield Karen Community to discuss the challenges facing many Burmese people.

The Karen are one of the largest ethnic groups in Burma, with a population estimated to be around 7 million. They have long faced severe repression and have often been used as slave labour. In Karen State and the neighbouring Shan and Karenni states more than 3,500 villages have been destroyed in the past 15 years. There are more than half a million internally displaced people, many of whom the regime blocks from receiving humanitarian assistance.

Despite the recent ceasefire, members of the Burmese Karen community continue to experience serious economic and health problems. Only 2% of Burmese government spending goes on health and there is a real difficulty in accessing even the most basic treatments.

Meg was concerned to be told of what the Burmese government describes as “free trade zones”, which in reality are forced labour camps.

Meg said:

“Despite progress in recent years, members of the Karen community continue to face persecution in Burma. The Burmese government needs to be pressured to invest more into health services, and to ensure that the ceasefire becomes a lasting peace rather than a superficial one.”

Following the meeting and upon her return to Parliament, Meg asked the Foreign Office Minister the following question:

Meg Munn (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab/Co-op): “On Friday I met representatives of the Karen community who have been settled in Sheffield for some period now. They expressed great concern about Karen people in Burma despite the peace talks. What is the Foreign Office doing to look at the situation of the many ethnic groups in Burma, not just the Rohingya Muslims, and to ensure there really is peace and that they are given support to integrate properly into society throughout Burma?”

Further information: http://karennationalunion.net/index.php/burma/departments/karen-community-assocation-uk1

Associated Photograph :

Meg and Karen Community Association leaders Htoo Ku Hsar Say, Moo Rah Paw Shee and Wendy Humphrey

Meg and Karen Community Association leaders Htoo Ku Hsar Say, Moo Rah Paw Shee and Wendy Humphrey


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