On Friday the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) published a response to the petition which many of us have signed under the heading of Urge the UN to intervene in Myanmar with a peace keeping force. Based on the information that has emerged from the response the FCDO is clearly not going far enough even though it claims it is supportive. It begins in the response by stating
The UK has led a strong international response, including through our G7 Presidency and our leadership role at the UN Security Council. We will continue to explore all avenues to resolve this crisis. We share your deep concern about the events unfolding in Myanmar and are monitoring the current situation closely. The UK Government condemns the military coup in Myanmar, violence against the people of Myanmar, and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society
Sadly however the response later on in the piece then demonstrates that the leadership of an agency does not really make a big enough difference or perhaps the interest of the UK FCDO is not strong enough.
A UN peacekeeping operation would require UN Security Council authorisation. We do not believe that the necessary support exists in the Council at present. As a champion of democratic governance, the UK is working hard to keep the Myanmar crisis on the Security Council’s agenda. We will continue to press for firm and decisive action at the Security Council, and elsewhere. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to encourage dialogue, find a peaceful resolution to the crisis, and restore democracy.
The petition which is accessible here and can still be signed until 19th September has currently got 10,108 signatures. The author was a chap called Peter Hewson. It would be fantastic if we could increase the signatures and try to get to 100,000 as this would then enable Parliament to debate it. In any event here is the rest of the text from the petition and indeed visiting the site enables people to read the whole of the FCDO response.
The Government should urge the United Nations to rapidly send a peace keeping force to Myanmar to protect the people of that country from the violence and repression currently being metered out by the military dictatorship that has taken control
Reports from Myanmar show that the military dictatorship are prepared to use lethal force against its own population. Everyday we see increasing numbers of deaths and injuries carried out by the self-imposed dictatorship. If the military and police forces in that country are not forced to exercise restraint then the situation is likely to get rapidly worse. We cannot allow the situation to develop into a full scale civil war, or genocide, or ethnic cleansing. Firm decisive action is required now.
It would be fantastic to persuade people in Sussex to sign it. Although Brighton Pavilion and Hove are two of the strongest constituents in the South East they only have 69 and 65 signatures currently. There are other areas that are still relatively strong such as East Worthing and Shoreham with 49, Horsham with 44 and Crawley with 46. It would be great to get many more signatures from all of those settings but perhaps even more importantly from Eastbourne as currently they are only 6 people and Wealden with 13 signatures, which is sad considering how important the MP for Wealden is raising concern over this theme. I would love to be able to update this last paragraph in the next few days with a stronger number from all locations in Sussex.