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Burmese rights activists sceptical over president's pledge to free political prisoners

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Burmese rights activists sceptical over president's pledge to free political prisoners

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The first visit in 25 years by a leader of Myanmar to the UK has been roundly condemned by rights activists as they demonstrated outside Britain’s parliament.

Meanwhile inside Number 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed President Thein Sein, especially when the latter promised to release all his country’s political prisoners by the year’s end.

But the rights activists who urged Cameron not to let Burma – as it was formally known – descend into a war of religious genocide, remained unimpressed

Ahamed Jarmal of the Burmese Rohingya organisation said:

“Despite knowing record level of human right violations in Burma, ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas and also that it is very likely Burma could become next Rwanda, and he still [David Cameron] welcomes President Thein Sein to this United Kingdom and gives him the red carpet.”

Over 200 people have been killed in Myanmar in religious violence over the past year with thousands displaced especially in the area where the Rohingya Muslims live.