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Burma: exiled PM to call Northern Ireland to uphold arms embargo

Sein Win to face Northern Ireland politicians in historic meeting

The head of Burma’s elected “government-in-exile” will make a historic visit to Belfast later today (25 October 2007) to call on the Northern Ireland Assembly to close any loop holes on the arms embargo to Burma.

The south-east Asian state has seen significant unrest in recent weeks, with peaceful protestors being attacked and detained without trial by the ruling military junta.

Prime Minister Dr Sein Win, accompanied by Dr Thaung Htun, are due to meet politicians from all political parties this afternoon, before addressing a public meeting at Queens University Student’s Union at 6.30pm.

Amnesty International and Burma Action Ireland organised the meetings and Amnesty Northern Ireland’s Programme Director, Patrick Corrigan, said:

“Dr Win and Dr Htun have been fearless campaigners in trying to bring accountable government and human rights to Burma over the last two decades, and their visit to Belfast offers us a very rare chance to hear their heroic stories in person.

“This is a chance for the people and politicians of Northern Ireland to find out what practical steps we can take to support the people of Burma.

“We will be asking the First Minister to write to the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure that arms export license requirements are tightened up and that arms are not being sold by third parties to the Burmese military junta.”

Dr Sein Win added:

“The Burmese military regime will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on power. We are calling on the international community to put pressure on the regime’s remaining allies, such as China, to end their support and allow the will of Burma’s people to flourish.”

Find out more about the current human rights crisis in Burma

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