[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
PRESS RELEASE (r)
NORWEGIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT DENIED ENTRY TO BURMA
Kjell Magne Bondevik, Norwegian Member of Parliament, was denied
entry to Burma today. Mr. Bondevik had planned to lead an
international delegation of parliamentarians to Burma in the
period 17 - 22 January.
Worldview International initiated the plans for a delegation
after the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was released
from house-arrest last summer. The purpose of the trip was both
to collect up-date information concerning the situation in Burma,
and to contribute to hastening the transition from dictatorship
to democracy in Burma by directing focus on the situation.
--By denying a friendly-disposed delegation entry to Burma, the
Burmese military regime has yet again shown little willingness to
support a transition from dictatorship to democracy in their
country. We interpret the denial as a sign that the military
regime intends to retain dictatorial control over Burma in the
future. On the basis of this, we will now attempt to put even
more pressure on the military regime in Burma. The military
dictatorship must be forced to enter into a dialogue with the
Burmese opposition and international politicians, says delegation
leader Kjell Magne Bondevik.
The Burmese authorities weekly accept delegations with business
and political representatives who do not pose critical questions
concerning the lack of democracy in the country. Mr. Bondevik's
delegation refuses to be intimidated by the military regime's
strategy, and is therefore leaving today to Thailand to carry out
an alternative programme.
In Thailand, the delegation will meet representatives from Thai
authorities, local representatives for the UN organisations in
Burma, representatives from important embassies and in particular
representatives of the Burmese opposition in exile.
The project has received strong international support. Many
prominent international parliamentarians have participated in the
planning and carrying out of the delegation's plans. The same
delegation members will also participate in the alternative
programme in Thailand.
In addition to the leader of the delegation, Kjell Magne
Bondevik, the following politicians will participate:
Former Foreign Minister of Sweden and current ambassador, Lennart
Japanese Member of Parliament Yasuko Takemura.
Sri Lankan Member of Parliament Neelan Tiruchelvam.
Opposition leader in the neighbouring country and daughter of the
liberation hero Bangabandbu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina,
was supposed to join the delegation. Unfortunately, due to the
present political situation in Bangladesh, she had to cancel her
U.S. Congressional representative Bill Richardson who was the
first foreign politician to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi while she
was in house-arrest had been scheduled to attend.
Unfortunately, due to the budget crisis in the United States, Mr.
Richardson had to cancel his trip.
The delegation has received financial support from the Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Olof Palme Foundation in