MEPS Support Burma Democracy Movement

27 October 2007
MEPs have overwhelmingly supported a call for international action to support the democracy movement in Burma and the peaceful protests of Burmese monks.

The resolution, co-authored by SNP MEP Alyn Smith, was endorsed by a massive 563 MEPs.

Speaking after the vote and debate Mr Smith said;

"The situation in Burma is one of immediate international importance.

"The actions of the military Junta over the last 24 hours, raiding monasteries, attacking and arresting monks, and attacking peaceful protestors are despicable.

"MEPs today applauded the courage of those monks and the tens of thousands of protestors that joined them and I add my voice to that support.

"The advent of the internet and mobile phones has allowed the world to see far more of this protest than we would have previously and has opened up Burma so those taking part in the protest know the support they are receiving from the world outside.

"Today's statement makes clear to those in Burma that we are behind them and that we will use what pressure we can bring to bear on all institutions and countries to support them and to bring Burma from its current military rule toward a modern peaceful democracy."

The resolution proposed to the European Parliament is below.

  1. Applauds the courageous action of the Burmese monks and tens ofthousands of other peaceful demonstrators in confronting theanti-democratic and repressive regime in Burma;
  2. Reiterates its call for the immediate release and full freedom ofmovement and expression for Aung San Suu Kyi;
  3. Urges the authorities in Burma to avoid any violent response to thedemonstrations, to ensure that there is no repeat of the appalling scenes of carnage witnessed by the world in 1988, but instead to recognise the legitimacy of the demands that are being made and to release arrested demonstrators and other political prisoners;
  4. Calls for the cessation of the current illegitimate constitutionalprocess, and its replacement by a fully representative National Convention including the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other political parties and groups;
  5. Calls on the UN Security Council to address the situation in Burma as a matter of urgency and to empower the UN Secretary-General to take action in order to facilitate national reconciliation and a transition to democracy in Burma, and for the UN General Assembly to take appropriate action;
  6. Calls on the UN Security Council to ensure that the UN Special Envoy, Mr Ibrahim Gambari, makes his planned visit to Burma as a matter of urgency and is given unfettered freedom of movement and access;
  7. Calls on the EU Council, as a matter of urgency, to liaise with theUnited States, ASEAN and other members of the international community in order to prepare a coordinated series of additional measures, including targeted economic sanctions, that might be taken against the Burmese regime if it resorts to violence and does not respond to the call for a return to democracy;
  8. Asks the Commission to make the appropriate means available in theframework of the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights in order toactively support the pro-democracy movement and NGOs that work for therestitution of good governance in Burma;
  9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the governments of the ASEAN nations, the National League for Democracy, the State Peace and Development Council and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.