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Volume 175: debated on Thursday 5 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Burmese Government about the recent elections in that country; and if he will make a statement.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council's abuse of the human and political rights of the Burmese people is well documented and has been repeatedly condemned. The surprisingly free and fair way in which the actual polling was conducted on 27 May was, therefore, all the more welcome. The official results now confirm that the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, has won an overwhelming victory.On 29 May, the British Government urged the SLORC to give effect to the clearly expressed wish of the people of Burma and called for the early release of the imprisoned leaders of the democratic parties and for the unconditional lifting of martial law.On 6 June, the European Community called on the military regime to respect the results of the elections by handing over power to a Government chosen by the newly elected Parliament without delay and to release political leaders in detention immediately.The British Government again call on the military regime to respond to the clearly expressed wish of the Burmese people for change. Along with our EC partners, we are ready to co-operate with the new Government, once it is formed. Meanwhile, existing policy will continue until the regime takes concrete steps to end the military rule which the Burmese people have so decisively rejected by initiating a constructive dialogue with opposition leaders at an early date.