Always high, the political temperature in Bangladesh rose further during 2018 as elections - due to be held by the end of the year - approached. This briefing surveys recent developments and election prospects. It also looks at Bangladesh's response to the Rohingya refugee crisis.
For some time the Library has been tracking the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea, publishing several background briefings about them. This note provides a short overview of the main developments in these disputes since 2016.
This Commons Briefing Paper on the Ivory Bill covers the Government proposal to ban the commercial use of elephant ivory, with some exceptions. It also include background information on the ivory trade, its impact on wild elephant populations and international efforts to address this. The Bill has its Report Stage in the House of Commons on 4 July 2018.
A debate on ‘Early elections, human rights and the political situation in Turkey’ has been scheduled for Thursday 7 June 2018 in the Main Chamber. The debate was nominated by the Backbench Business Committee after a representation from Joan Ryan MP, Tommy Sheppard MP and Jim Shannon MP.
A debate on the ‘International Day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia’ has been scheduled for Thursday 17 May 2018 in the Main Chamber. The debate has been nominated by the Backbench Business Committee after a representation from Peter Kyle MP and Angela Eagle MP.
A Westminster Hall debate on petitions relating to Burma's Rohingya minority is scheduled for Monday 16 April 2018, from 4:30-7:30pm. The motion for debate is: "That this House has considered e-petitions 200224 and 200371, and public petitions P002061, P002064, P002078 and P002104, relating to Myanmar’s Rohingya minority". The subject for this debate was determined by the Petitions Committee and Helen Jones MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee, will open the debate.
Many hoped that the November 2015 general election would be a tipping-point in Burma’s ‘democratic transition’, which began in 2011. The new National League for Democracy government took office in April 2016 in an atmosphere of hope – but the honeymoon has turned out to be brief. The limits of Aung San Suu Kyi's power have been exposed by her inability to control the actions of the security forces in Rakhine State, where they stand accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya. Her international reputation has been damaged and there is now talk of reintroducing sanctions.
Elections are due within a year or so in Bangladesh. The main political parties continue to be at loggerheads. Some detect a growing authoritarianism and there are concerns about the threat from terrorism. In recent months the country has also faced a massive refugee influx of Muslim Rohingya from Burma.