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MPs Call On UK Government to Be More Proactive In Putting Pressure on Burma ‘s Military Regime

CSW (10/25/06) – MPs yesterday sought assurance that the government would raise Burma at tomorrow’s UN Security Council meeting. They also called on the British government to be less “reactive and passive” in dealing with British companies that trade with Burma .

Stephen Crabb MP opened a Westminster Hall debate on Human Rights in Burma by appealing to the government to press forward with work on behalf of the people of Burma . He urged the government raise the situation in Burma during the UN Security Council debate on Women and peace and security, and to call on Burma to “bring an end to the system of impunity for grave violations committed by state actors, including rape and sexual violence”.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP highlighted the Burma Campaign’s “Dirty List”, which catalogues dozens of British companies involved in trade and investment in Burma . He called on the government to be more proactive in contacting each of the companies listed and “explain to them what they are doing in propping up the regime”.

The Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon MP, insisted that the government seeks to discourage British companies from trading in Burma .

The government was also urged to re-think its current cross-border aid policy. John Bercow MP said that the level of British humanitarian aid to Burma “saddens and angers me greatly” and stated that current government aid can only be used on the border and not inside Burma .

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Director, Stuart Windsor says: “The human rights atrocities committed by the ruling military regime in Burma demand the immediate attention of the international community. We urge the MPs that attended this debate to push the government to act by providing aid for the people of Burma who are suffering so greatly and by holding businesses involved in Burma to account. We call upon the UK to fully play their part at the UN Security Council to bring about a binding resolution on Burma .”