Com a conseqüència de la meva recent visita a Birmània i a la frontera amb Tailàndia, he dirigit una bateria de preguntes tant a la Comissió com al Consell, en relació a tres temes: la situació de les persones refugiades i desplaçades a la frontera tailando-birmana (i en especial les previsions d’ajuda de la UE al respecte); la postura de la Comissió i el Consell en relació a la Constitució de l’SPDC i les eleccions previstes pel 2010; i la resposta davant del Cicló Nargis (amb sospites de possible responsabilitat per part de la Junta en termes de crims contra la humanitat). (segueix…)
QUESTION 1 to the Commission On situation of Refugees and IDPs in the Thailand/Burma border region
In a recent visit I effected to the border between Thailand and Burma I had the opportunity to learn about the critical situation of the thousands of Burmese people that live in refugee and IDPs camps. I also learnt about the enormous financial difficulties that the TBBC is facing in order to provide proper assistance to this population. I am personally very much concerned for the fact that very little financial assistance is provided in order to guarantee the cross border needs, that is, assistance that should be sent to Thai territory with the goal of reaching from there the Burmese population within Burma.
Regarding this, I would like to know what are the financial plans of the European Commission concerning the deliverance of aid to Burmese population, specially those living in refugee camps in Thailand and in the IDPs camps in Burma, including the cross border assistance. Specifically, will funds be provided for cross border aid, and what financial assistance will be provided to TBBC in the next three years?
QUESTION 2 to the Council and Commission On Political situation in Burma
In May 2008 the Burmese regime promoted and approved a new Constitution for Burma, the so called SPDC Constitution. According to this, elections are planned to take place in 2010. In a recent visit to the region I had the opportunity to learn from several parts (opposition political parties, ethnic organisations, lawyers organisations, etc) great concerns regarding these elections. First of all SPDC does not recognise the 1990 results (when NLD won 80% of the seats). Furthermore, the 2008 Constitution is full of articles very difficult to accept in a State of Law like, for instance, article 445 where it is stated that no legal actions can be taken against SLORC or SPDC or Government members for any past crimes. Despite of all this, this Constitution is doubtfully illegitimate according to the way it was ratified in referendum (even the victims of the Nargis were asked to vote Yes in order to get assistance).
I was specifically asked to not provide international support to those elections and to keep denouncing the constant violations of human rights committed by the SPDC regime, to denounce the non legitimacy of the 08 Constitution and of the 2010 elections; promote a three parts dialogue (NDL, ethnic groups, SPDC); to ask for an immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners; and to assure that no international supports is used by the SPDC regime for keeping committing atrocities as up to the moment, which means that no international investments (whatsoever) should be allowed if under the SPDC control, and that any arms delivery should be completely forbidden. Many of these aspects were already requested in the EP resolution number (2008) 0178 of April 08.
Taking all this into account, what is the strategy planned by the Commission (Council) regarding the current Constitution and the upcoming elections of 2010?
QUESTION 3 to the Council and Commission On the Nargis and International Law
According to many testimonies of victims of the Nargis Cyclone that devastated in May 08 the Irrawaday Delta region in Burma, no prevention strategy was set up by Burmese regime in order to warn and to remove population from that area despite the fact that they were repeatedly informed about the arrival of the cyclone by Indian authorities. Further more, after the cyclone killed more than 150000 people and left without anything hundreds of thousands, the regime impeded the adequate delivery of assistance to the affected population and, even, took profit of the circumstance in order to promote the Referendum of the Constitution by conditioning the deliverance of basic aid to a Yes vote.
According to all this, many evidences are being gathered to demonstrate that the regime did not act preventively despite they had the proper timely information, being thus responsible for the death of hundreds of people, which could even be considered as an act of crime against humanity.
Can the Commission (Council) explain what their assessment on this particular issue is? Would the Commission support an initiative related to taking the Junta to the ICC for crimes against humanity?
Foto: Imatge de la clínica de Mae Tao, a Mae Sot. Font: Violet Chao/ Irrawaddy