Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-04-Speech-4-253"

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"In Burma, generals have for years been keeping their own people in their gunsights, and the opposition in captivity. If the new Prime Minister, General Khin Nyunt, is really serious about his roadmap to democracy, he will immediately release Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues and give them an important role in this process. He presented this roadmap a few days ago behind closed doors, without the presence of the media or foreign diplomats. The plan is supposedly to set up a convention for a new constitution, which should lead to fair and free elections. As no information was given as to the how and when of this plan, the only conclusion I can draw is that the military regime is trying to sidetrack the West and is hoping to break out of its isolation. As it must not, of course, be allowed to succeed in this, I support the Council's decision to tighten the sanctions. Any remaining business contacts should be completely severed. The Commission and the Council, in cooperation with the United Nations, should continue to appeal for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues. She has been held illegally for more than three months, during which time she has gone on hunger strike. The international community must make the Burmese authorities responsible for her well-being and the Red Cross must gain access to her. Pressure from the neighbouring countries in the ASEAN – China, India and Japan – must be stepped up. Fortunately, the United States has also been very forthright in its opinion about the current situation and has expressly pledged its support to Aung San Suu Kyi. Burma is still the pariah of the international community. The military junta sees the enforcement of its own power as more important than the suffering of the Burmese people. The generals' roadmap to democracy has so far only led to prison. This is not only about the liberation of Aung San Suu Kyi, but also about the liberation of the Burmese people as a whole."@en1

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