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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Burma, particularly the continuing violence in Rakhine State

20.11.2012 - (2012/2878(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Helmut Scholz, Patrick Le Hyaric, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Younous Omarjee on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0503/2012

Procedura : 2012/2878(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Burma, particularly the continuing violence in Rakhine State


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Joint declaration of the European Union and Burma on the Myanmar Peace Process in support of the Myanmar Peace Centre of 3 November 2012

- having regard to declarations of various reprehensive of the Burmese government and the opposition, including Aun San Suu Kyi, denying the Rohingya ethnic minority citizens rights and minimizing the responsibility of the state authorities in the recent violent clashes

- having regard to the appeal of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay of 9 November 2012 to the government of Myanmar to take the necessary steps towards granting Rohingyas citizens rights and equal treatment

- having regard to the declaration of Myanmar's National Human Rights Commission in August stating that the persecution of Rohingyas and the events in Rakhine state does not pertain to its responsibility

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. Whereas in October 2012, Rakhine State has experienced another wave of wide-spread inter-communal violence between predominantly Muslim and Buddhist communities, which according to UN estimates left at least 89 people dead, 37,000 people, mostly Rohingyas, displaced and some 5,000 houses and other buildings destroyed;

B. Whereas since June more than 110,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, mostly Rohingya Muslims, and many of the displaced are forced to shelter in camps in cramped conditions with poor sanitary facilities dependent on outside assistance

C. Whereas local authorities have reportedly been complicit in the attacks against Rohingyas and are pursuing an active policy of removing Rohingyas from majority Hindu communities and interning them in camps beyond the city limits fenced off with barbed wire and armed gards at the entrance

D. Whereas since the 1960s there have been multiple campaigns by the Burmese/Myanmar authorities to expel the Rohingyas from Myanmar, treating them as illegal immigrants, rendering them state- and rightness

E. Whereas Bangladesh already hosts an estimated 300 000 Rohingya refugees and Thailand reports some 92,000 registered refugees from Myanmar as well as an estimated 54,000 unregistered asylum-seekers in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border

F. Whereas reports about sinking boats and drowning refugees from Rakhine state particularly of the Bengali cost multiply

G. Whereas another 75,000 people have been displaced following the June 2011 collapse of a 17-year ceasefire between the government and Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which has been fighting for greater autonomy for decades and whereas UN relief convoys to Kachin State stopped due to lack of safety guarantees from the government and KIA, leaving some 33,000 people without international assistance

H. Whereas Violations of land and housing rights are increasingly widespread, affecting both urban and rural communities across the country reportedly in numerous cases the armed forces, government cronies, state-owned enterprises, as well as domestic and foreign private companies,

I. Whereas the development of rule of law in Burma/Myanmar is still in its infant stage, while corruption continues to be widespread

1. Expresses it's grave concern over the continuation of the violent ethnic clashes in Rakhine state and the continuing persecution and discrimination of the Muslim Rohingya minority; considers that the gravity of events and the reports of widespread complicity of state authorities in the persecution of Rohingyas seem to bare the characteristics of ethnic cleansing;


2. Expresses concern that this situation may increase hatred and radicalization among ethnic groups, could have dangerous repercussions for the entire region and even may endanger the process of reforms in the Burma/Myanmar;


3. Urgently calls on the government of Burma/Myanmar to do all in its power in order to immediately halt the ongoing ethnic clashes in Rakhine state and to provide security for the Rohingy minority;


4. Reiterates its call on the Burmese government to review the citizenship laws in order to ensure that Rohingya have equal access to citizenship;


5. Calls on the government of Burma/Myanmar to initiate a full, transparent investigation into the violence of this year and to bring to justice those responsible;


6. Calls upon the Government to become a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and its Optional Protocol, and to agree to be bound by the individual communication and the inquiry procedures, at the earliest opportunity;


7. Calls on the Government to introduce a moratorium on evictions until a legal framework and relevant policies are in place to ensure that evictions are conducted only in accordance with Burma’s international human rights obligations and relevant international standards;


8. Calls on the Government to cease and refrain from all forms of intimidation, including arbitrary detention and judicial action, against those who are facing eviction or have been forcibly evicted from their land;


9. Call on the UN Member States to respect their obligation to protect human rights and to observe due diligence policies to ensure that any trade, investment, or economic activity in which they engage with respect to Burma does not contribute to or result in the violation of the rights of the people of Burma, including through the regulation of the activities of transnational corporations under their jurisdiction when these corporations operate in Burma to ensure their respect for human rights;


10. Call on the Government to incorporate in its domestic legislation provisions to ensure the conduct of adequate human rights, social and environmental impact assessments of investment or development projects and to ensure such projects do not move forward without the consultation of affected communities;


11. Encourage the Government to ensure that any trade, investment or other economic agreement it enters or which it implements is consistent with its obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, including social rights and to suspend businesses which fail to respect these obligations;


12. Call on the Government to suspend the activities of businesses when these cause, or may cause, human rights, e.g. social rights violations, and to guarantee and facilitate access to justice of victims of these violations;


13. Call on the Government to exercise effective civilian control over state security forces;


14. .Welcomes that the European Commission's additional funding of one million euros to provide food to the victims through the World Food Program, bringing aid in support of the people of Rakhine State to €8 million this year;


15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the HR/VP of EU Foreign and Security Policy, the Commission, the UN Human Rights Commission, the Secretary General of ASEAN and the government and Parliament of Burma/Myanmar.