Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for having a strong voice on this issue. When we talk here, we are not really debating. It is really important to make sure that the Canadian Parliament goes on record in commenting on our frustration concerning the ongoing situation over there and in condemning the violence against ethnic minorities, particularly the Rohingya, who are facing violence day in and day out. Our government continues to monitor the situation and has not missed an opportunity to raise this case.
I agree with my colleague. The situation the Rohingya are facing is incredibly troubling, and it is complicated further by the fact that the state of Rakhine has been completely closed off to the media and international monitors. This is making it a troubling situation.
Our government has never missed an opportunity to raise our concerns with the Burmese government, whether with the president, with Aung San Suu Kyi, or with the commander and chief. We have never missed an opportunity to express our concerns on behalf of our government, but frankly, also on behalf of Canadians, who are watching what is happening over there and are expressing deep concern about the targeting of ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya.
We also note the instability it is causing in the region. The Rohingya today are becoming the largest stateless group in the world. There is a refugee crisis over there, and neighbouring states, like Bangladesh, are having to deal with the situation.
Last month, I visit the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, and I had the opportunity to meet with the UNHCR Asia desk, where they briefed me on the situation in Burma. I heard directly from them their concerns about stateless Rohingya and their situation, whether it is inside Myanmar or in Bangladesh. This was important for me to hear on behalf of the Canadian government. We have offered close to $4 million in humanitarian aid to help people in need in that region.
When the former minister of foreign affairs, Stéphane Dion, visited Burma last year, we directly expressed our concern. We publicly supported a United Nations fact-finding mission. I know that the Myanmar government is rejecting our calls for this and international calls for this, but we will continue to push for that and will work with like-minded countries to push for it.
We know that the special commission, led by Kofi Annan, has issued an interim report, and we are encouraged that the Burmese government has endorsed the findings. However, that is not enough. We will continue to call on the Burmese government to find a way to end the violence and to help those in need, particularly the Rohingya.