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Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

August 7, 1997 No. 130

Canada Announces Further Actions on Burma

Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy today announced further actions on Burma, including selective economic measures and humanitarian assistance. These measures underscore Canada’s concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in Burma and are intended to encourage the military regime to enter into meaningful political dialogue with the leaders of the democracy movement.

The Canadian government is withdrawing Burma’s General Preferential Tariff eligibility and placing Burma on the Area Control List, which requires all exports from Canada to Burma to have an export permit. With these actions, Canada joins the United States and European Union in imposing selective economic measures against Burma.

"Burma’s military leaders have made no effort to improve the current situation and have repeatedly failed to respond to the international community’s attempts to open channels of communication," said Mr. Axworthy. "The actions we have taken today are intended to convey the seriousness of our concerns over the suppression of political freedoms and our frustration with Burma’s failure to curb the production and trafficking of illegal drugs."

Mr. Axworthy will be reviewing Canada’s contribution to the UN International Drug Control Program to determine how best to assist anti-drug projects in the region.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and Minister for International Co-operation Diane Marleau also announced that the Canadian International Development Agency will be providing $350 000 in additional humanitarian assistance for Burmese refugees in Thailand. These funds will be used for emergency food aid to refugee camps and to support refugee assistance projects run by local and international non-governmental organizations. Canada suspended bilateral aid to Burma following the 1988 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Rangoon.

"Since last year’s ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] meetings when Canada sought to develop consensus on an approach to Burma, we have been engaged in ongoing consultations with a number of countries and international organizations," said Mr. Axworthy. "We call on the international community, and particularly Burma’s ASEAN neighbours, to use their influence to encourage national reconciliation and a return to democracy in Burma. We also urge the Canadian business community to refrain from entering into further investment agreements or commercial ventures in Burma until improvements are evident."

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 1997 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Press Releases/Statements and News

Burma Parliamentary delegation expected in Canada

CFOB statement on latest communal violence in Burma

What more can Canada do in Burma? - Tin Maung Htoo

Burma’s Kachin seek Canadian support

Staying true for human rights for all - Rebecca Wolsak

Why Inter Pares is wrong on Burma - Tin Maunng Htoo

CFOB concerned with Kachin conflicts in northern Burma

CFOB 2012 Annual Report released!

Statement on CFOB AGM on Dec. 15, 2012

Burmese Civil Society Organizations Dismayed by Inter Pares

CFOB AGM on Dec. 15 in Toronto

Minister Jason Kenney to Meet with Prominent Buddhist Monk

CFOB in Crisis with Rohingya in Burma

Baird Concerned about Renewed Violence in Rekhine State

Burmese Foreign Minister Queitly Visited to Canada

CFOB Policy Statement: “Navigating the thaw: Burma-Canada Relations in 2012 and beyond”

Over 70 Canadians and Burmese activists cleared from 'Blacklist'

Revised: Canada Calls for Peaceful Solution in Arakan state of Burma

Advocating humanitarian assistance to Kachin IDPs in Burma

Parliamentary Testimony with Aung Din (USCB)

Parliamentary Testimony with Tin Maung Htoo (CFOB)

Minister Kenney Surprises Burmese Community with Announcement

Minister Jason Kenney to meet with Burmese community leaders in Toronto

Policy Consultation on Burma

Burma Day - Celebrating 20th of CFOB

Long-time Burma supporter Brian John passed away

CFOB pleased by prisoners release but more reform needed

CFOB Welcomes Fine For Firm That Illegally Exported Plane to Burma

CFOB Welcomes U.S Secretary of States Visit to Burma

CFOB Saddend by the Loss of Jack Layton

Cross Canada bike ride for Burma reaching to final destination

Ivanhoe received US$103 million from Burma's copper mines

Burmese President accepts credentials of Canadian Ambassador to Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi supports UN commission of inquiry on Burma

Transfer of Ivanhoe's Burmese assets to weapons firm must be probed

Canada Sends Best Wishes to Aung San Suu Kyi on Her Birthday

66th Birthday Events of Aung San Suu Kyi in Canada

Suu Kyi to be honored on Canada Day in Côte Saint-Luc

Cross-Canada Bike Ride for Burma

Suu Kyi addresses to Conference on ‘Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict’

New Burmese Ambassador to Canada: a messenger for new regime in Burma?

Media coverage on detained Canadian in Burma

Suu Kyi to deliver video message at Carleton University

Carleton University to Honour Aung San Suu Kyi

Canada to Support 'Commission of Inquiry' on Burma's rights violations

Canada to Renew humanitarian support

Canada to welcome additional 1,300 Karen Refugees from Thai-Burma Border

CFOB Welcomes Opposition Party Calling for Economic Sanctions

Two events today in Toronto and Vancouver to mark DSSAK Day

CFOB applauds government and Parliament for granting Honorary Citizenship for Suu Kyi, and urges more action on Burma

CFOB welcomes throne speech to honor Suu Kyi with Honorary Citizenship

Canada Welcomes Statement by the United Nations Security Council on Burma

More news...

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