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European Parliament Resolution On Burma - 2003-09-05


The European Parliament,-having regard to its previous resolutions on Burma, in particular, those of 11 April 20021, 13 March 20032 and 5 June 20033,

-having regard to the Council's Common Position 96/635/CFSP of 28 October 1996 defined by the Council on the basis of Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union, on Burma/Myanmar4, as renewed and extended by the Council's Common Position 2003/297/CFSP of 28 April 2003 on Burma/Myanmar5,

-having regard to the External Relations Council meeting of 16 June 2003 that brought forward the implementation of the extended sanctions,

-having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 552/97 of 24 March 1997 temporarily withdrawing access to generalised tariff preferences from the Union of Myanmar6,

-having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2000 of 22 May 2000 prohibiting the sale, supply and export to Burma/Myanmar of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism, and freezing the funds of certain persons related to important governmental functions in that country7,

A. whereas 30 August 2003 marked three months of detention for Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) members,

B. whereas the ruling military State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has provided no acceptable explanation for the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues,

C. whereas in July 2003 the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited Aung San Suu Kyi in captivity and this visit is believed to have been her last contact with the outside world,

D. whereas the United States Department of State reported on 31 August 2003 that it believed Aung San Suu Kyi was on hunger strike in protest against her illegal detention by the SPDC, 1 OJ C 127 E, 29.5.2003, p. 681. 2 P5_TA(2003)0104. 3 P5_TA(2003)0272. 4 OJ L 287, 8.11.1996, p. 1. 5 OJ L 106, 29.4.2003, p. 36. 6 OJ L 85, 27.3.1997, p. 8. 7 OJ L 122, 24.5.2000, p. 29. PE 334.393\ 125 EN E. whereas on 30 August the new Burmese Prime Minister, General Khin Nyunt, announced a seven-point roadmap with a constitutional convention supposedly culminating in free and fair elections,

F. whereas the SPDC has, to date, failed to respect the results of the last elections held in Burma in 1990,

G. whereas the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting of 16-17 June urged 'Myanmar to resume its efforts of national reconciliation and dialogue among all parties concerned leading to a peaceful transition to democracy … and looked forward to the early lifting of restrictions placed on Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD members',

H. whereas this mild rebuke to the SPDC constituted a welcome change in ASEAN states' prior reluctance to exert pressure on the regime in Burma,

I. whereas the SPDC has refused access to the ASEAN delegation which intended to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi,

J. having regard to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, Tan Razili Ismael, to facilitate a return to democracy in Burma, Demands the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi;

2. Considers that the release of all political prisoners would be a major step towards the restoration of democracy;

3. Insists that the SPDC relinquish its grip on power and that the results of the last elections be fully respected;

4. Calls on the Council and the Commission to show their readiness, in collaboration with the UN, to help facilitate the National Reconciliation process in Burma;

5. Reaffirms its strong commitment to and full support for democratic, judicial and political change in Burma;

6. Calls on the Council to introduce further tough measures specifically targeted against the SPDC, its members and their interests;

7. Calls on ASEAN states to exert greater pressure on the SPDC to release Aung San Suu Kyi and other detained NLD members immediately, and to take meaningful steps to exercise their influence over the Burmese regime to bring about change for the better in Burma;

8. Calls on the United Nations Security Council to address the situation in Burma as a matter of urgency; 126 /PE 334.393 EN

9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the ASEAN Member States, Aung San Suu Kyi, the UN Secretary-General and the SPDC.

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