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European Parliament wants direct st

Subject: European Parliament wants direct stop investment, trade and tourism links with Burma

The following very interesting resolution was adopted unanimously on 22=20
October 1996 by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Typed in, with maybe=
a typo here and there, by the BCN.

Resolution on the political  situation and continued human rights abuses in=
The European Parliament,
=B7 having regard to its previous resolutions on Burma,
=B7 having regard to thre Council declaration of 5 July 1996 on the=
situation in Burma, which calls in particular on the State Law and Order=20
Restoration Council (SLROC) to respect the fundamental rights of  the=20
Burmese people,
A.	deeply concerned at the SLORC=92s denial of basic human rights in Burma,=
and noting that Burma is categorised by the UN as a least developed country,
B.	reiterating its deep concern at the circumstances surrounding the death=
of Jeames Leander Nichols on 22 June 1996,
C.	whereas the SLORC has detained more than 800 National League for=20
Democracy (NLD) members of the unconvened Parliament since 26 September=
D.	noting that, since the end of March 1996, more than 80.000 people have=20
been forced by the Burmese army to leave their homes and villages in Shan=20
State and karenni State,
E.	noting that Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the=20
Sakaharov Prize and democratically elected leader of the Burmese people,=20
recently reiterated her offer to open a dialohue with the SLORC, and=20
regretting that this offer was turned down by the SLORC.
F.	noting once again that Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the international=
community to implement economic sanctions against the SLROC,
G.	noting that on 17 September 1996, the US Congress passed the=20
Cohen-Feinstein Amendment and that, under this legislation, the US President=
will prohibit new businesses from investing  in Burma if the SLORC rearrests=
Aung San Suu Kyi or carries out large-scale repression in Burma, and noting=
that, on 3 October, US President Clinton signed a Proclamation barring any=
SLORC members or their families from entering the USA,
H.	noting that the Commission is preparing to respond to the evidence=20
presented at an investigation into forced labour in Burma, and aware that=20
other authorituve estimates have calculated that forced labour accounted for=
a significant part of Burma=92s GDP in 1994-5,
I.	whereas the General Affairs Council of the European Union will be meeting=
on 28 and 29 October 1996 and is due to consider the imposition of further=
measures against the SLORC,
J.	whereas all foreign direct investments in Burma, and in particlaur=20
investment by EU firms, ahs to be made via joint ventures with companies or=
financial institutions which are entirely in the hands of the Burmese=
K.	whereas the EU considers the promotion of democracy and respect for human=
rights to be an integral part of its relations with third countries,
L.	whereas, under Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union, the Council=
may defeine a common position on any matter of foreign and security policy=
of general interest,
M.	whereas Mrs Sung Hngel, an active opponent of the SLORC, was arrested by=
the Indian authorities on 7 August 1996 and charged with illegal entry into=
the country,
N.	Pointing out that, if Mrs Sung Hngel is declared an illegal immigrant in=
India by the Court, which will hold the third hearing on her case on 22=20
November 1996, Mrs Hngel will be deported to Burma, where she might be=20
executed by the Burmese army.

1.	Reaffirms its unshakeable attachment to respect for democratic principles=
and human rights and its conviction that the development of democracy and=20
the rule of law and economic development are interdependent;
2.	Strongly condemns the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms=
being perpetrated against the Burmese people;
3.	Is particularly concerned about the fate of the more than 80,000 people=
who have been forced by the army to leave their homes in Shan State and=20
Karenni State since the end of March 1996, accompanied by gross human rights=
violations and arrests;
4.	Is equally concerned about reports that the UNHCR repatriation programme=
of 250,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh back to Burma might be=20
jeopardized by the fact that the human rights situation in Arakan State,=20
place of origin of the Rohingya Muslim minority, has further worsened since=
their exodus in 1991, and that forced labour in many areas has increased to=
an average of twenty days per month;
5.	Calls once again on the SLORC to provide a full and satisfactory=20
explanation of the circumstances surrounding the death in custody of James=
Leander Nichols;
6.	Confirms its opinion that the SLORC has shown itself incapable of=20
participating in any form of critical dialogue with the international=20
community likely to achieve a transition to democracy and respect for human=
rights, and calls on the international community to take steps through the=
UN to isolate the SLORC both politically and economically;
7.	Reaffirms its opinion that foreign direct investment in Burma makes an=20
important financial contribution to the SLORC, while failing to provide even=
indirect benefits to the Burmese people, and therefore welcomes the recent=
decisions by already 15 international companies to cease investments in=
8.	Notes with concern reports to the effect that investment by UNOCAL and=20
TOTAL in Burma has caused significant violations of human rights and has=20
indirectly led to both forced relocation and forced labour;
9.	Supports those ASEAN countries who announced that they oppose full=20
membership for Burma and calls on all ASEAN members to refuse Burma=92s=20
application for membership until the SLORC has stepped down from power and=
democratic rule has been restored, bearing in mind that Burma=92s full=20
membership would harm relations between the EU and ASEAN;
10.	Calls on the Commission to ensure that it employs only those aid=20
agencies whose operations are clearly independent of the SLORC when it=20
provides Burma with humanitarian aid;
11.	Welcomes the determination of the Danish Government to secure forceful=
measures by the EU against the SLORC following the death of James Leander=20
12.	Expresses its concern that the inquiry of the Commission that must lead=
to the withdrawal of GSP is taking so long and asks the Commission to=20
present the conclusion of its inquiry into the use of forced labour and=20
present them to the Council and Parliament without delay, bearing in mind=20
that the withdrawal of GSP would cost Burma tens of millions of US dollars=
per year and that such a sanction is the only immediate step which may be=20
taken to put effective pressure on the SLORC;
13.	Calls on the Council to respond to Aung San Suu Kyi=92s request that the=
EU implement economic sanctions against the SLORC by ending all links=20
between the European Union and Burma based on trade, tourism and investment=
in Burma by European companies when it meets on 28-29 October 1996;
14.	Expresses its concern about the arrest of Mrs Sung Hngel and calls on=20
the Indian authorities to suspend logal proceedings and grant her refugee=20
15.	Instructs its president to forward this resolution to the Council, the=
Commission, the SLORC, the NLD, the goevernment of  Inda, the UN=20
secretary-General and the boards of all European companies investing in=

BCN is onafhankelijke stichting. Doel: Nederlandse samenleving informeren=20
over Burma. Het initieert en co-ordineert aktiviteiten die democratisering=
en duurzame ontwikkeling bevorderen. Het geeft een positieve bijdrage aan=20
een constructieve dialoog tussen de diverse groeperingen.

Paulus Potterstraat 20
(31)20-6716952 (tel)
(31)20-6713513 (fax)


Just remember one website:


This single page serves only as an easy to remember URL and departure
point to resources promoting the establishment of democracy in Burma.