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Cablegate: Finland: Burma Post-Cyclone Assistance Response

VZCZCXRO8869
RR RUEHCHI
DE RUEHHE #0302 1841359
ZNY CCCCC ZZH ZDK
R 021359Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4407
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0079
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0094

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000302

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS/ACOPE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2018
TAGS: PGOV EAID BM EUN FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: BURMA POST-CYCLONE ASSISTANCE RESPONSE

REF: A. STATE 68527
B. STATE 59122

Classified By: DCM Michael A. Butler for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (SBU) PolOff delivered demarche Shaping Post-Cyclone
Assistance in Burma to Theresa Zitting, First Secretary, Asia
and Oceania on July 2 who stated that Finland agrees with USG
points on Burma: GoF condemns political prisoners, condemns
that they are still under house arrest, is concerned with
Burma's attitude toward humanitarian assistance, is and is
concerned with Burma's roadmap and next steps because they
don't take minorities and opposition into consideration.

2. (C) During the demarche, Zitting shared her impressions of
a seminar held in Helsinki for Burmese opposition in exile,
which she attended on June 9 and 10. About 50 people, mostly
from European countries, attended the seminar, though two
people from Burma's opposition traveled to Helsinki under
false names in order to participate. She mentioned that
Madame Nyny, (protect name) a representative from the Asian
Institute of Technology, is allowed to travel, attended and
put forth an idea for courses on strengthening NGOs and civil
society. Preceding the Helsinki seminar, only the Burmese
opposition attendees met June 7 and 8. They are hoping to
find a common vision on how to go forward through a series
of forums and meetings. Zitting observed that most of the
opposition would take a more pragmatic approach to dealing
with the junta than is currently favored by Aung San Suu Kyi,
but they are currently not in full agreement as a group.
Independent Diplomat is working on a future meeting and the
Finnish MFA is looking for financing opportunities to empower
and coordinate. Zitting expects a complete report on the
Burmese seminar by the end of this month and will brief
PolOff further.
BARRETT

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