Ottawa (IINA) � Human Rights Watch (HRW) and groups representing Burmese refugees in Canada called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to push Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to allow an independent international investigation into allegations of widespread human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state.
Suu Kyi's government has so far resisted those calls, which came from a special UN commission chaired by former Secretary General Kofi Annan, Canada's online news site thestar.com reported.
Farida Deif, Canada director for Human Rights Watch, urged Trudeau to use his meeting with Suu Kyi, who is currently on a visit to Canada, to specifically push her to accept the UN call.
The prime minister should make clear that Myanmar's full cooperation with this independent and impartial investigation is expected by Myanmar's international donors and friends, said Deif.
She added that Canada should view the Rohingya situation as an important test of the Burmese government's commitment to uphold the rule of law and to work constructively with the international community to establish the facts, identify perpetrators and deter future human rights abuses by all sides.
Trudeau's spokesperson said the prime minister planned to use the meeting to advocate for further reforms in Myanmar, especially those that support ethnic and religious minorities, women, and young people � including the situation of the Rohingya.
The Karen Community of Canada, which represents ethnic Karen refugees, also urged Trudeau to press for an independent UN investigation in Myanmar.
The group said in an open letter to Trudeau it didn't want the visit to be a feel-good celebration that will ignore human rights abuses in Burma's ethnic areas, which Aung San Suu Kyi's government has done virtually nothing to alleviate.
Human rights groups expressed regret over Wednesday's meeting between Trudeau and Suu Kyi, where it was announced that Canada was giving Burma an additional $8.8 million in humanitarian assistance to promote peace and stability programs in the country.
Source: International Islamic News Agency