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Cablegate: Czechs Provide Support for the People of Burma,

VZCZCXRO7546
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBW RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0285 1281544
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071544Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0306
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0084

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000285

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM BM EZ EUN
SUBJECT: CZECHS PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURMA,
WHILE REMAINING CRITICAL OF REGIME

REF: A. STATE 45471
B. PRAGUE 257

1. (U) The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on May
5 that the Czech government will provide 2.5M crowns (just
over 150,000 USD) in humanitarian assistance for the
International Red Cross to respond to the devastation of
cyclone Nagris in Burma. The Czech NGO People in Need (PIN)
is also putting together a package of assistance. PIN's
current plan is to provide 500,000 crowns (just over 30,000
USD) in immediate assistance and then to reassess the
humanitarian needs of the Burmese people once PIN has more
detailed information from counterparts on the ground. PIN
then plans to initiate a national appeal here in the Czech
Republic to address these specific needs.

2. (SBU) With respect to the referendum on the Burmese
constitution, the Government of the Czech Republic shares our
reservations, and as highlighted previously (Reftel B), they
have actively engaged within the EU at the Asia Working Group
Committee to press for greater pressure on the regime and to
support strong language in the EU Foreign Minister's GAERC
conclusions of April 29. Through the spring the Czech MFA
Department of Human Rights and Transition Policy has met and
stayed in contact with Burmese dissident Min Zin to discuss
the flaws in the newly drafted Burmese constitution as well
as the ways in which the regime is promoting the referendum.
Also noteworthy is the Czech MFA public statement of April 24
highlighting Czech concerns regarding the state of health of
Mr. Min Ko Naing, a key Burmese student leader who remains in
prison in Burma following his arrested in 1988. In the MFA
statement the Czechs note that Mr. Min Ko Naing is in
substantial pain for an eye condition which requires medical
attention and could result in blindness if left untreated.
The Czechs also site other examples of the Burmese regime's
unwillingness to provide access to medical treatment for
other political prisoners, such as Aung San Suu Kyi and U
Myint Thein in its statement.

Graber

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