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Resolution of the European Parliame

Compromise resolution (Art. 50)
on Burma
May 18, 2000

The European Parliament

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Burma, in particular its
resolution of 16 September 1999, 

A. whereas on 27 May it will be ten years since Aung San Suu Kye was
elected President by a large majority of the people in Burma when the
National League for Democracy (NLD) won 392 of the 485 seats in Parliament
in free and fair elections and whereas the elected Parliament, which is now
represented by the CRPP, has still not been permitted to convene, 
B. Whereas many thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands of
people have fled to neighboring countires such as India, Thailand and
Malaysia, where they have for years been living in refugee camps and are
dependent on humanitarian aid from NGOs and from those neighboring countries
C. Deploring the SPDC's continued intimidation and restrictions by the on
Aung San Suu Kyi who has recently been threatened with imprisonment, and
other NLD members, who were again imprisoned in 1999, in many cases under
very poor conditions, without adequate food or medical care
D. Condemning the arrest of 40 NLD youth members and of U Aye Thar Aung of
the Arakan League for Democracy in April 2000, as well as 82-year old Nai
Tun Shein of the Mon National Democratic Front and Kyin Shin Htan of the
Zomi National Congress in November 1999, after they spoke with Alvaro de
Soto, then the UN's special envoy to Burma, and the detention of 83-year
old Saw Mra Aung, the Speaker of the CRPP, who has been under arrest since
the committee was formed in September 1998,
E. Deeply concerned about reports on special guerrilla retaliation units of
the Burmese army, whose mission is to execute any civilians in Karen State
suspected of interaction with the Karen National Union (KNU),
F. Whereas in Burma itself large numbers of people have also been moved to
new areas, as a result of which whole communities have disintegrated and
fallen into deep poverty,
G. Whereas according to reports the Burmese army has the highest ratio of
child soldiers in the world
H. Noting that in the end of March the governing body of the International
Labor Organization (ILO) documented the SPDC's maintainance of a system of
forced labor without any sign of improvement, and urged member countries
and international organizations to withhold cooperation from the country,
I. Noting that the World Bank in a recent report indicated that
constructive economic reform cannot be effecively implemented without
progress toward democratisation, 
J. Noting that nearly all universities in Burma have been closed since
December 1996, and have in the last twelve years only been open for
alltogether less than three years,
K. Noting that the investment from European companies reportedly provides
for almost a third of the total official foreign investment in Burma, thus
greatly benefiting the SPDC;
L. Noting that the government of the United Kingdom has called on Premier
Oil to withdraw from Burma;
M. Welcoming the fact that the Council has strengthened its Common Position
on Burma by including a ban on export of equipment that might be used for
internal repression or terrorism, naming those in the regime and it
supporters to whom the visa ban is applied, and imposing a freeze on the
funds held abroad by those same persons,
N. Noting however that the Council has still not responded to Aung San Suu
Kyi's request to implement economic sanctions, and has not taken any
significant economic measures against the SPDC and noting that the USA have
already launched an investment stop for Burma,
O. Regretting that the meeting of the Association of the South East Asian
Nations (ASEAN), held in Rangoon on 1 and 2 May 2000, which brought
together Ministers from the 10 member countires as well as Japan and China,
has permitted the military regime to use it as a platform to promote its
own political interests 
1. Deeply regrets that the ASEAN held its two day meeting of the region's
economic ministers without raising the fundamental question of the respect
of human rights 
2. Calls on the SPDC to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the
democratic opposition and ethnic groups; 
3. Calls again on the SPDC to immediately release all political prisoners,
to cease human rights abuses, and to allow political parties to function
4. Calls on the SPDC to end its widespread practice of forced labour and
the human rights violations connected to it, which has been labelled by the
ILO as a 'crime against humanity'; 
5. Calls on the SPDC to open all universities to provide higher eduction
for its civilian population and not just for the military elite; calls on
the SPDC as well to stop recruiting child soldiers and to send those
children to school instead  
6. Calls on the Council to demand that all European companies to stop
investments in Burma; 
7. Considers that the governments of the EU Member States should advise
their citizens against visiting Burma as tourists, particularly because
many new tourist facilities have also been created using forced labour
8. Considers it high time that the EU Member States adopt a common policy
on Burma and calls on Commission and Council to take effective decisions on
this subject as soon as possible 
9. Confirms the importance of EU-ASEAN co-operation and partnership but
supports the  exclusion of Burma from the ASEAN-EU process, and insists
that the military regime of Burma should not be allowed to participate at
the ASEAN-EU Senior Official Meeting in June;
10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commisison,
the Council, the applicant countries for enlargement, the ASEAN and its
Member States, the governments of Burma, India, China and Japan.