Government & politics, Southeast Asia, Human rights & justice, Foreign policy, Asian Institute, Myanmar Policy and Community Knowledge Hub

MyPACK Delegation Joins Parliamentary Friends of a Democratic Burma in Addressing Myanmar Crisis

Ottawa, Canada - June 4th, 2024

The MyPACK (Myanmar Policy and Community Knowledge Hub at the University of Toronto) Delegation led by Professor Matthew Walton participated in an Annual General Meeting organized by the Parliamentary Friends of Democratic Burma (PFODB) on Tuesday June 4 in Ottawa, addressing the ongoing human rights and political crisis in Myanmar. This event was a significant gathering of stakeholders aimed at discussing the current situation and necessary Canadian responses.

In 2021, Myanmar’s military staged a coup in Myanmar, imprisoning elected National League for Democracy leaders Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and others. In the ensuing protests the military killed over 6,000 civilians and arrested over 26,000. Over 2.3 million people have been displaced. The pro-democracy National Unity Government has allied with Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations to fight the military junta across the country, and have gained historic ground. Meanwhile, the Rohingya remain stateless and largely face ongoing persecution in Rakhine state or poor conditions in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Canada has previously provided $300 million in aid to Myanmar from 2018-21 and $288.3 million from 2021-24,  but in the latest 2024 budget have not renewed funding commitments. Failure to provide aid will be catastrophic for the Rohingya and other vulnerable groups.

Attendees of the PFODB Annual General Meeting include MPs Adam Chambers (Conservative), Mike Morrice (Green), Nate Erskine-Smith (Liberal), John McKay (Liberal), Andréanne Larouche (Bloc Québécois), and Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay (Bloc Québécois). Other notable participants included Dr. Edgard Rodriguez from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ivo Balinov from the Parliamentary Centre, U Kyaaw Wai from the National Unity Government, staff from Inter Pares, Professor John Packer, Rohingya Advocate John Jonaid and Professor Kai Ostwald from the UBC Myanmar Initiative.

The session, led by Mike Morrice, provided a platform for the MyPACK team and other representatives to share insights and highlight the urgent need for Canadian intervention and support for Myanmar. The MyPACK Hub leads in providing innovative collaborative solutions towards Myanmar issued from the Canadian perspective.

The MyPACK Delegation shared its preliminary assessment of Canada's Progress on Recommendations from Special Envoy Bob Rae's 2018 Report. They also raised concerns surrounding the lack of earmarked funding towards Myanmar from Canada in 2024. This delegation was led by Professor Walton and included Fellows Jaivet Ealom, Napas Thein, Mercy Sang Te, and Isabella Aung.

The Parliamentary Friends of a Democratic Burma, chaired by MPs Adam Chambers, Garnett Genuis, and Mike Morrice, continues to support the people of Myanmar, advocating for democracy, human rights, and peace. The MyPACK Delegation remains committed to this cause, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts and meaningful solutions.

For media inquiries, please contact Napas Thein (