Cablegate: Canada to Continue to Pressure Government of Burma
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS OTTAWA 002006
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CLASSIFICATION CHANGED TO SBU AND DECLAS
LINE CHANGED TO N/A)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV BM CA
SUBJECT: CANADA TO CONTINUE TO PRESSURE GOVERNMENT OF BURMA
REF: STATE 200944
1. (SBU) Post delivered points contained reftel to Nancy
Mackay-Dietrich, Special Advisor for Burma in DFAIT,s
Southeast Asia Division, on July 14, 2003. Mackay-Dietrich
indicated that, in addition to the visa restrictions
mentioned in reftel, the GOC was taking other steps to secure
the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National
League for Democracy party. She cited the fact that Canadian
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham recently repeated his
call on the Canadian business community to cease further
investment agreements or commercial ventures in Burma until
the political situation improves. Mackay-Dietrich said that
although the GOC lacked the legal authority to ban investment
outright, she did feel that Graham was firmly committed to
decreasing investment levels. To support this she cited his
plan to personally call Ivanhoe Mine Ltd, a Canadian company
that invests heavily in Burma, and urge it to cease its
business in the country. Similarly, Mackay-Dietrich doubted
that the GOC would pass import ban legislation. She did,
however, feel that the GOC would communicate directly with
importers and strongly discourage them from doing business
2. (SBU) The GOC is very supportive of ASEAN member states
working to influence democratic change in Burma.
Mackay-Dietrich stated that Canada has had ongoing talks with
both China and Japan, including conversations at the recently
completed ASEAN meetings in Cambodia, and has urged the two
countries to take a more formal role in pressuring Burma.
She also said that Canada agreed that the UN would be an
appropriate forum for discussion of this issue and mentioned
that, over the last few weeks, Graham has raised the issue
with both Kofi Annan and his Special Envoy Razali Ismail.
Mackay-Dietrich felt that the GOC would support any efforts
to bring up the subject at the UN Security Council.