Resolution on Burma

ROME COUNCIL, 21-22 January 1997

Recalling the resolutions on Burma of the Council of the Socialist International adopted in Tokyo on 11 May 1994 and in Cape Town on 11 July 1995, and the resolution of the XX Congress of the Socialist International adopted at the United Nations in New York in September 1996, the Council of the Socialist International:

Commends the European Union for warning the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in Burma that it would hold the regime fully responsible for the personal safety of Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;

Commends the government of Denmark for its strong support for the Burmese democracy movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the exiled National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma led by Dr Sein Win;

Commends the United States government and the European Union for imposing visa restrictions on members of SLORC and their families;

Commends the foreign companies that have withdrawn from Burma because of the atrocities committed by the military;

Commends the ethnic leaders of Burma for their initiative in January to work to rebuild a new Burma based on democracy and equal rights for all its citizens, and their willingness to work with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;

Notes with concern the continuing deterioration of the situation in Burma as witnessed by the continuing harassment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the National League for Democracy, the growing economic crisis, the recent student demonstrations, fresh allegations of the military regime's involvement in the trafficking of narcotics, and its refusal to cooperate with the United Nations and other international efforts to mediate a peaceful political solution in Burma;

Strongly condemns the ruling junta for instigating a mob to attack Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's motorcade on 9 November, and for restricting her freedom of movement and that of her colleagues;

Condemns the closing down of universities and high schools by the junta as a means of crowd control instead of seriously addressing the issues of police brutality and justice demanded by the students;

Condemns the junta's continued use of intimidation and force rather than dialogue and political negotiation to resolve political problems;

Condemns the beating and manhandling of journalists and deportation of tourists caught up in the recent student demonstrations;

Calls on the United Nations Secretary-General to urgently address the question of Burma and to make a concerted effort to implement General Assembly resolutions which have been ignored by the Burmese regime;

Calls on the President of the United States of America to impose sanctions against new investments, given the deteriorating political situation in Burma;

Calls on the European Union to suspend Burma's trade privileges under the General System of Preferences and further restrict European investments in Burma until the generals respond positively to the international community;

Calls on the Association of South East Asian Nations to reconsider its decision to admit Burma as a full member in 1997;

Calls on the government of Japan to withhold aid and restrict investments while actively seeking to promote change in Burma;

Calls on TOTAL S.A. of France, UNOCAL and TEXACO of the United States, NIPPON OIL of Japan, and PREMIER of Great Britain, to withdraw or suspend their operations in Burma until human rights atrocities being committed by the military in Burma, especially in ethnic areas, are ended;

Urges SLORC to release all political prisoners including Win Htein, Aye Win, and student leaders who were arrested recently;

Urges SLORC to lift all laws restricting fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of speech, assembly, association, the press, and the right to draft a constitution, and

Urges SLORC to begin a political dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, all political parties and ethnic peoples.