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Written Answers. - Political Problems in Burma.

Tuesday, 8 October 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 469 No. 5

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 80. Mr. E. Ryan Information on Eoin Ryan Zoom on Eoin Ryan  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring  the initiatives, if any, he has undertaken or intends to undertake to highlight and address the ongoing human rights and political problems in Burma. [17910/96]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 103 on 25 September 1996.

I subsequently led the EU Ministerial Troika in a meeting in New York with Burmese Foreign Minister, Ohn Gyaw, on 26 September 1996. I regret to say that Mr. Ohn Gyaw did not respond positively to the concerns expressed by the European Union.

Since then, the situation has deteriorated further with the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and some 550 of her supporters and the blockading of her residence by the State Law and Order Council (SLORC). On 1 October 1996, the General Affairs Council issued a declaration expressing serious concern at this further deterioration of this situation. The Council called for the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees and for a resumption of normal activities by the National League of Democracy to be permitted.

The European Union emphasised the need for a genuine dialogue to commence without delay between SLORC and the National League for Democracy, as offering the only possible credible way forward for national reconciliation in Burma.

The Council also noted that the Commission was completing its inquiry into [1509] the possible future suspension of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for Burma.

The EU is giving active consideration to further possible restrictions in relation to Burma.

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