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Burma: Politics and Government

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Burma on the rights of people belonging to opposition groups in that country. (249690)

In regular contacts between our embassy in Rangoon and the Burmese military government, we continue to stress the need for all political actors, including Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy and other democratic groups, to be allowed to play their full part in shaping the country’s future. Most recently, our ambassador expressed the UK’s deep concern to the Burmese Foreign Minister about the severe prison sentences handed down to democratic and human rights activists in late 2008.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has repeatedly reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to democracy in Burma. In May 2008 under UK chairmanship, the UN Security Council reaffirmed its demand for the regime to start an inclusive political process. We still hold to this demand, and continue to support the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to break the political deadlock. We continue to lobby countries in the region to bring pressure on the Burmese regime to reform.