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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

Wolf Klinz, Marietje Schaake, Edward McMillan-Scott, Sarah Ludford, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Leonidas Donskis, Marielle de Sarnez, Phil Bennion, Louis Michel, Kristiina Ojuland, Jelko Kacin, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Ivo Vajgl, Hannu Takkula, Robert Rochefort, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Sonia Alfano, on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Procedure : 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 statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative of 26 October 2012 on the renewed violence in Rakhine state of Burma/Myanmar,

- having regard to the 24 August 2012 report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar;

- having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 April 2012 on Burma/Myanmar,

- having regard to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951 and the protocol thereto of 1967,

- having regard to Articles 18 to 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948,

- having regard to Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Burma/Myanmar; in particular that of 13 September 2012,

- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  Whereas a state of emergency has been in place in Burma/Myanmar's Rakhine State since June; whereas violence erupted with renewed ferocity on 21 October between the majority Rakhine Buddhist population and the minority Rohingya Muslim community leading to the death of dozens of people and thousands of people having fled their homes; whereas the first wave of violence was set off on 28 May by murder of a young Buddhist woman in Rakhine in May leading to deadly sectarian clashes, leaving more than 80 people dead and thousands of homes destroyed;


B.  whereas according to the UNHCR the latest wave of unrest brings to 110,000 the total number of people displaced during the inter-communal conflict in Rakhine State since end of May; whereas the camps around the state capital Sittwe currently host most of the 75,000 people who remain displaced from the wave of violence in Rakhine state since June; whereas a fragile calm has returned but tensions remain high;


C. whereas the Rohingya, many of whom have been settled in Rakhine State for centuries, have not been recognised as one of Burma/Myanmar’s 135 national groups, and have thus been denied citizenship rights under the 1982 Citizenship Law, are perceived by many Burmese to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and have been subject to systematic and severe discrimination, including restrictions in areas such as freedom of movement, marriage, education, healthcare and employment, as well as land confiscation, forced labour, arbitrary arrest and harassment by the authorities;

D. whereas the Government of Burma set up an independent Investigation Commission in August 2012 to look into the causes of the outbreak of sectarian violence and make proposals on how to put an end to it; whereas the Investigation Commission did not include a representative of Rohingya community;

1.  Is deeply concerned by the renewed inter-communal ethnic violence in Rakhine state of western Burma/Myanmar, which has caused a large number of displacement of local populations and several thousands of people seeking refuge in camps near Sittwe;

2.  Expresses its continued concern that these inter-communal clashes may put at risk the transition to democracy in Burma;

3.  Calls on the government of Burma/Myanmar to bring the perpetrators of the violent clashes and other related abuses in Rakhine State to justice;

4.  Calls on the government of Burma/Myanmar, as a matter of urgency, to guarantee UN agencies and humanitarian non-governmental organisations safe, sustained and unhindered access to all areas of affected populations in Rakhine state, and ensure that displaced Rohingya enjoy freedom of movement and are permitted to return to their place of residence once it is safe for them to do so;

5.  Calls on all parties to find durable ways to solve the issues between the communities and renews its call on the political forces to take a clear stand in favour of a pluralist society with an inclusive dialogue with local communities;

6.  Calls on the government to end discriminatory practices against Rohingya and to amend the 1982 citizenship law to bring it into line with international human rights standards and its obligations under Article 7 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, with a view to granting citizens’ rights to the Rohingya and other stateless minorities, as well as ensuring equal treatment for all Burmese citizens, thus ending discriminatory practices;

7.  Notes with concern increasing reports of arbitrary deprivation of land by both state and non-state actors; calls on the Government to end all forced evictions and 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.  Welcomes the release of 514 prisoners, out of which 90 are political prisoners, on 17 September; calls on the Burmese government to release all remaining prisoners of conscience, to clarify exactly how many remain in detention and take steps to ensure the reintegration of released prisoners into society;

9   Calls for an end to impunity for human right abuses, especially among the state forces; Calls on the Burmese government to undertake a thorough and independent investigation into serious human rights abuses and hold perpetrators accountable;

10. Welcomes the ratification of the new law on foreign investments by President Mr Thein on 2 November 2012, as foreign investments can help creating greater job opportunities for Burma's vast number of unemployed;

11. Encourages the Burmese government to continue implementing its democratic reforms, to establish the rule of law, and to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of expression and assembly (including on the internet);

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Governments and Parliaments of Burma/Myanmar and of Bangladesh, the EU High Representative, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the UN Human Rights Council.