The United Kingdom has said it is “highly regrettable” that members of its parliamentary committee were refused Myanmar visas and were unable to visit the country as part of their inquiry into Department for International Development’s Rohingya-related work.
The International Development Committee (IDC) of the UK Parliament was scheduled for a Myanmar and Bangladesh visit, reports Hindustan Times.
The IDC published a report regarding the crisis in January expressing “grave concerns” over Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya.
Stephen Twigg, chair of the 11-member committee that includes senior Labour MP Veerendra Sharma, expressing “extreme disappointment” said it was a direct consequence of their report on the Rohingya.
UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field told the House of Commons in the UK Parliament that Myanmar officials had indicated three reasons for refusing visas: first, there is an extended public holiday in Myanmar: second, secondly, that access to Rakhine state remains restricted for security reasons; and third, Myanmar was unhappy that individual members of the IDC had signed a letter calling for a senior general in the Myanmar army to be held accountable for the military behaviour in Rakhine.
He also said even though the situation is highly regrettable, the UK government will remain committed to supporting Myanmar’s poorest and most vulnerable people.