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Reuter: Deanmark Researches for Act

Subject: Reuter: Deanmark Researches for Actions

 Deanmark Researches for Actions

    By Steve Weizman
     COPENHAGEN, July 3 (Reuter) - Denmark takes its campaign for sanctions
against Burma to European Union President Ireland this week, where it will
propose a trade boycott, aid cuts and U.N. action, a Foreign Ministry
official said on Wednesday.
     Denmark is outraged at the death last month in a Rangoon jail of
honorary consul James Leander (Leo) Nichols. It put its proposals to an EU
working group in Brussels on Tuesday but according to Danish media reports
made little headway.
     "They had a discussion yesterday. This discussion will continue in the
political committee tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," the official said
on Wednesday.
     Citing diplomatic sources in Brussels, Ritzau news agency said: "It
was made clear that the majority of member states would rather use
political than economic pressure to get the Burmese government to alter its
position on human rights."
     The Danish official challenged the Ritzau account, saying talks were
still in progress and until Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen meets EU
counterparts in Brussels on July 15 it would be too early to predict the
     A diplomatic source in Copenhagen said Ireland would call on Burma
later on Wednesday to respect human rights and give a full account of the
circumstances surrounding Nichols' death.
     Nichols, an unaccredited representative for Denmark, Finland, Norway
and Switzerland, died in prison on June 22. Differing accounts say he died
of a heart attack or a stroke.
     Godfather to democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, he was arrested in
April and sentenced to three years in prison for operating home telephones
and fax machines without permission.
     Diplomats and opposition sources believe he was jailed because of his
close links with Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
     Human rights organisations have said Nichols, a 65-year-old diabetic
with a heart ailment, may have died as a result of sleep deprivation during
interrogation in prison.
     His four European employers have asked Burmese authorities for a full
written report on his death but say they have yet to receive a satisfactory
     Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) took
power in 1988, suppressing the democracy movement.
     Suu Kyi and the NLD nevertheless won an overwhelming victory in May
1990 elections but the SLORC refused to hand over power.