Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-03-13-Speech-4-146"

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"The Burmese generals continue to wage war against their own population. They take no notice of the rest of the world. The military regime is still breaking all records when it comes to violation of human rights, political prisoners, forced labour, child soldiers, media censorship, violation of religious freedoms and violence against minorities. Everything that God has forbidden goes on in Burma. In drawing up a new common position, the European Union must speak with a clear voice. The time is long overdue for the generals to release unconditionally the 1 200 political prisoners who are being held in atrocious conditions and tortured. The Council and the Commission must also give very serious consideration to the systematic rape of women and sexual enslavement and argue for an international investigation into this. The ILO must be given access to all areas where forced labour is going on. The European Commission must denounce these abuses at the WTO. The European Union must also demand that the regime put an end to the climate of impunity, that applies to all those who are guilty of torture, forced labour, deportations or unlawful executions. Finally, Mr President, it is of the utmost importance that the Burmese refugees in Bangladesh are not forcefully repatriated. While it may be true that the freedom of movement of the NLD of Aung San Suu Kyi has been slightly increased, that seems to be more a question of than of a significant change in policy. The European Union must strengthen the sanctions against Burma. A ban on foreign investments should be introduced. European companies which get Burmese blood on their hands to serve their shareholders must be pilloried. Unfortunately there are still Member States that give more weight to their own business interests than they do to a consistent human rights policy. Only with broad international support do the oppressed Burmese people have a chance of ousting the generals."@en1

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