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Cablegate: Czech Conference On Burma - Launches Formation Of

VZCZCXRO3181
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #1212/01 3131608
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091608Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9790
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0208
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0079
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 0042

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRAGUE 001212

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EUR/NCE FOR ATRATENSEK, EAP/MLS FOR ACOPE, EUR/PPD FOR
CBRUNER, EUR/ERA FOR NOTALLAH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM EZ BM EUN
SUBJECT: CZECH CONFERENCE ON BURMA - LAUNCHES FORMATION OF
EU PARLIAMENTARY NETWORK FOR DEMOCRACY IN BURMA

REF: A. CARNIE-COPE E-MAIL DATED 11.9.07

B. STATE 148530
C. STATE 148528
D. PRAGUE 1169
E. PRAGUE 1158
F. PRAGUE 1124
G. PRAGUE 1086

1. Summary: With funding from the Czech Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Parliamentarians from the Czech Republic, Slovakia
and Estonia, and U.S. Embassy participation, the NGO "People
in Need" hosted a conference "Burma Alert: Action Needed Now"
on November 6. The event, which was launched by former
President Vaclav Havel, was held at the Czech Parliament and
included panel discussions on civil society activities,
international community support, and recommendations from
Burmese advocacy groups. The Members of Parliament produced
a statement which, among other things, calls upon European MP
colleagues to join in creating an "EU Parliamentary Network
for Democracy in Burma." This statement (ref A) is currently
being circulated for signature by additional MPs not present
at the conference. End Summary.


-----------
Set Benchmarks and an End Date
-----------
2. During the conference, the participants made a number of
interesting suggestions for action. For example, Sein Win,
the "Prime Minister of the Exiled National Coalition
Government of the Union of Burma," indicated he was
encouraged by the recent regime engagement with Aung San Suu
Kyi. He stated, however, that the regime typically drags out
negotiations and only negotiates on superficial matters.
Thus, Sein Win emphasized the need for the UN Special Envoy
Gambari to establish benchmarks and a closing date for
negotiations. On the topic of negotiations, several
speakers highlighted the importance of including ethnic
minority issues and that there must be consequences if
negotiations break down.

----------
Call for Multi-Party Talks
----------
3. During his remarks, Harn Yawnghwe, Director of the
"Euro-Burma Office" based in Belgium, noted that while years
of dialogue with the military has not produced results, the
unity of the international community now may have an effect.
He proposed that the international community press for the
establishment of multi-party talks, along the lines of what
we have for North Korea, with the involvement of key
neighbors (i.e. India and China) and under UN auspices. On a
final note, Yawnghwe warned against the establishment of any
parallel process of negotiations to the UN, such as via the
auspices of a new EU special envoy. (Note: The EU announced
the appointment of EU Special Envoy for Burma/Myanmar Pierro
Fassino on November 6. End Note.) He, and Charles Chong,
Singapore MP and Member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary
Myanmar Caucus, both stated that by establishing different
channels of negotiation, the regime would likely attempt to
play one party against the other and further delay meaningful
action.

----------
Applying Pressure to ASEAN on Burma
----------
4. While Harn Yawnghwe urged the EU to use the summits with
ASEAN, India and China to encourage these key players to put
pressure on the regime, an audience member went one step
further and suggested that Burma should be suspended from
ASEAN. The Singapore MP Charles Chong explained that the
majority position within ASEAN currently is to engage with
Burma, rather than to suspend it. Chong also noted that
Burma had been forced to forgo its turn in the ASEAN
presidency and that Burma is on the agenda for the upcoming
ASEAN meeting. Gabriela Dlouha, Czech MFA Director for Human
Rights and Transition Policy commented that Czech Foreign
Minister Schwarzenberg, who has been engaged actively
regarding the situation in Burma and met with representatives
of the Burmese opposition on November 2, intends to discuss
Burma with his Asian partners at the upcoming EU-ASEAN Summit.

----------
Stop Burmese Generals Receiving Medical Treatment in Singapore
----------
5. A Buddhist monk in the audience questioned Singapore MP

PRAGUE 00001212 002 OF 002


Chong about why the Singapore government allows Burmese
officials to travel to Singapore to receive medical
treatment. Restricting this travel would be particularly
appropriate in his opinion since the regime does not allow
ordinary Burmese citizens to travel outside the country to
receive treatment. Chong urged the monk to provide names and
details and said he would continue to press his government to
restrict travel of members of the Burmese regime.

6. Comment: PIN's aim in coordinating this conference was to
facilitate dialogue among a diverse and energized group of
parliamentarians and NGOs, especially those in the new EU
states, which it achieved. Additionally, we anticipate that
several MPs, particularly those that helped form the "EU
Parliamentary Network for Democracy in Burma" will help
bolster the growing chorus of Europeans speaking out more
forcefully and regularly on the situation in Burma.

7. Comment Continued: Post wishes to offer its thanks to
EAP/MLP for its assistance crafting our conference remarks,
which were well-received.
Graber

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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