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European parliament resolution: pos

Subject: European parliament resolution: positions on WTO & on ASEAN

This resolution was adopted by the European Parliament in its Stratsbourg
session on Thursday 12 June 1997. Unanimously.

14 (c) B4-085, 0547 and 0551/97

Resolution on the continuing human rights abuses in Burma

The European Parliament,

-	having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights in Burma and
Burma's possible accession to ASEAN,
-	having regard to the statement of the Presidency on behalf of the European
Union on 30 May 1997 on the deterioration of the political situation in Burma,
A.  whereas the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) has been
recognised by the international community as being guilty of conducting a
policy of complete disregard for human rights,
B.  noting that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in its
fifty-third session expressed its deep concern at the continuing violations
of human rights in Burma including extrajudicial summary or arbitrary
executions, death in custody, torture, arbitrary and politically motivated
arrest and detention, forced relocation, forced labour by children as well
as adults, and the abuse of woman and children by government agents and
oppression of ethnic and religious minorities,
C.  noting the report by the UN Commission for the rights of children
according to which thousands of children die from the effects of beating,
exhaustion or illness during forced labour,
D.  deploring the fact that SLORC detained on 21 may more than 300 National
League for Democracy (NLD) members, including 50 elected members of
Parliament, to prevent them from attending a party gathering to mark the
anniversary of its landslide victory in the 1990 elections,
E.  saddened by the recent death in custody of the political prisoner Tim
Shwe, a prominent member of the NLD, which again highlights the appalling
prison conditions in Rangoon;
F.  whereas Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi, a winner of Parliament's Sakharov Prize,
has on several occasions called on the International community to impose
political and economical sanctions on SLORC,
G.  regretting the continued surveillance, restriction of movement, and
other forms of intimidation of Aung San Suu Kyi and senior leaders, and
since September 1996 the almost permanent blockade of the house of Aung San
Suu Kyi which has prevented her from giving public speeches,
H.  noting that on 20 May 1997 President Clinton imposed economic sanctions
on Burma by prohibiting United States citizens from making new investments
in Burma;
I.  whereas, at the last ASEAN ministerial summit, the governments of the
member countries decided to admit Burma as a member, thus ignoring the
appeals from various other countries and international organisations for the
decision to be postponed on account of the serious political situation in

1.  Condemns the military dictatorship IN Burma and all human rights
violations committed by SLORC;
2.  Calls on the Rangoon government to guarantee the fundamental rights of
the Burmese people and to put a stop to politically motivated persecution
and to fulfil its obligations as a State party to the Forced Labour
Convention, 1903 (No 29), and to the Freedom of Association and Protection
of the Right to Organise Convention 1948 (No 87) , of the International
Labour Organisation;
3.  Calls on the Council to respond to Aung San Suu Kyi's request that the
EU implements economic sanctions against SLROC by ending all links between
the European and Burma based on trade, tourism and investment in Burma by
European companies;
4.  Urges the Commission not to take action against the act regulating state
contracts with companies doing business with or in Burma passed on 25 June
1996 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, under the dispute settlement
procedure of the World Trade Organisation;
5.  Vigorously condemns the accession of  Burma to Asean, giving it further
international recognition despite its violation of human rights;
6.  Calls on the ASEAN countries to review their 'policy of constructive
engagement' with Rangoon, which appears to confer legitimacy on the policies
of Burma's repressive and anti-democratic government;
7.  Expresses its support for all the forces of democracy in Burma, in
particular the NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi, who are campaigning for the
establishment of constitutional government and respect for human rights;
8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the commission,
the Council, the military Government of Burma and ASEAN.