While Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be making official royal visits to Singapore, Malaysia and India from Oct 30, the royal couple will not travel to Burma, despite reports that they would be visiting the south-east Asian country. Burma has faced condemnation from the international community after around half a million Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee to Bangladesh to escape attacks from a Burmese military operation, which has been denounced as ethnic cleansing.
Speaking about the 11-day trip, the Prince's deputy private secretary, Scott Furssedonn-Wood, said: "Their royal highnesses are delighted to be returning to India, and to be visiting Singapore and Malaysia for the first time together." During their tour, Charles and Camilla will undertake nearly 50 official engagements that will "showcase the breadth and depth of the United Kingdom's relationship with these key Commonwealth partners in advance of a Commonwealth summit in London next April". They will also be flown in the ministerial Voyager jet, which is used by government ministers on official trips.
During the press briefing on their trip, the south-east Asia department director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Philip Malone, was asked about why Burma was rejected. He replied: "For a tour like this you look at a range of options and we decided to go with Singapore and Malaysia. These visits are planned over a number of months, preparations are made and you get to the point… where we decide on the ones that we will pursue for the visit." Director of Burma Campaign UK, Mark Farmaner, was among those to condemn a possible royal visit to Burma, saying: "To have someone of Prince Charles’s stature go to visit the country would be seen as a reward, and giving legitimacy to the government and the military that are currently violating international law."