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EMER TÓIBÍN: Ireland Must Stand In Solidarity With People of Myanmar Against Violence

On foot of a PQ Response from Minister Simon Coveney, Aontú Cllr for Meath, Emer Tóibín, has said Ireland must stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar against the continued violence against innocents.

Cllr Emer Tóibín:

“I welcome the response of Minister Coveney in his unequivocal condemnation of the violence in Myanmar, and to hear the violence is firmly on the agenda of the UN Security Council. Given our own history and suffering, it is imperative we stand with victims of state-sponsored violence wherever it may be. An Aontú member from our Limerick branch who volunteered in Myanmar has been providing me with graphic images and videos from inside the country. Our party member in Limerick, perhaps put it best when he said ‘One of the things that this country used to be very good at was punching far above its weight in terms of reaching out to those suffering abroad, from UN peacekeepers, to missionaries, lay and religious, working with the poorest of the poor.’ The level of bloodshed against innocent civilians exercising their democratic right to protest cannot continue. I was particularly struck by the bravery of Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng and her fellow Sisters in Myanmar who have knelt on more than one occasion in front of armed soldiers and police officers, telling the soldiers to shoot them instead of innocent children.”

“Ireland has a voice, and a duty to stand in solidarity with those suffering from state-sanctioned violence. Ireland has a seat at the UN Security Council. Our Defence Forces are world-renowned for their service to the cause of peace. Now is not the time for us to be silent or to do nothing. We must stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar, and Aontú will continue to raise their pleas with the Irish government.”

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For Written Answer on : 31/03/2021
Question Number(s): 513,517 Question Reference(s): 16423/21, 16555/21
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: Matt Carthy T.D., Peadar Tóibín T.D.
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QUESTION

* To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he has taken to ensure the safety of Irish citizens currently living in Myanmar; his plans to use Ireland's position on the UN Security Council to highlight the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Matt Carthy T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

* To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he is taking to support the people of Myanmar either at the UN level or through other avenues.
- Peadar Tóibín T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


REPLY

I strongly condemn the coup carried out by the Myanmar military, and the escalating and systematic use of force on peaceful protesters by the Myanmar military, resulting in the deaths and critical injury of peaceful protesters.
I was deeply shocked and saddened by the abhorrent and indefensible killing of unarmed civilians, including children, on the 76th Myanmar Armed Forces Day. As I have stated, the role of the military in society is to protect its citizens, not to murder and terrorise them.

I have called upon the Myanmar military to demonstrate restraint, respect the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, to restore unimpeded access to telecommunications and to uphold human rights and the rule of law. I have also called for the immediate release of political detainees and for the reinstatement of the legitimate civilian Government

In support of sanctions against the perpetrators of the coup and the economic entities that sustain them, I endorsed the strong and comprehensive approach set out in the Council Conclusions adopted by the FAC on February 22, and the adoption of sanctions on March 22.
At the UN Security Council, Ireland set out its concerns in discussions on the situation in Myanmar on 2 February and 5 March. It is welcome that the Security Council took united positions following these meetings in the press statement of 4 February and presidential statement of 10 March. The unity in the international response sends a strong message to the Myanmar military. The crisis remains on the agenda of the Security Council and our Mission to the UN continues to follow developments closely.

I emphasise the importance of a united response to this crisis, in particular, we need to recognise the importance of engaging partners in the region to ensure an effective, appropriate, and sustainable outcome to the crisis. Through the UN and our Embassy network, we are encouraging those who have influence on the military leadership, including countries within the region, to use it to protect the human rights of the Myanmar people.

The Embassy of Ireland in Bangkok, which is accredited to Myanmar, is closely monitoring the situation. The Embassy is liaising closely with EU Missions and other like-minded partners in Myanmar regarding the situation on the ground. We are currently advising Irish citizens in Myanmar to leave the country by commercial means as soon as possible. This is reflected in the Department’s Travel Advice for Myanmar, which we are reviewing and updating on a regular basis.

Our Embassy in Bangkok is also maintaining regular communication with all registered Irish citizens in Myanmar to provide advice and information, including in relation to travel options. The Embassy continues to advise citizens regarding resident Embassies on the ground, which can provide consular assistance if and where required.
 

By Aontú Press | 12 April, 2021



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