European MPs form Burma caucus

Jun 27, 2008 (DVB), A European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma has been formed to raise awareness about Burma in Europe and pressure European governments to do more to bring about democratic transition.

The initiative was launched on 19 June to coincide with the 63rd birthday of Burma's democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The caucus was formed by MPs from eight of the 27 countries in the European Union. The EPCB MPs have hoped to recruit more than 200 MPs to the caucus before the end of the year.

Harn Yawnghwe, director of the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office told DVB that the establishment of the EPDB was encouraging, and indicated that the European governments could take stronger action against Burma's military junta.

"There was no organisation within the EU before to keep a constant eye on the situation in Burma," said Harn Yawnghwe.

"The new caucus brings hope that [European countries] will enhance their efforts until we have democratic change in our country," he said.

"The formation of the EPCB also warns the military regime that the international community hasn't forgotten Burma's political impasse and will continue their pressure even though the country has faced enormous hardships from the devastating Cyclone Nargis."

The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus welcomed the creation of the EPCP in a statement and said it believed effective cooperation between the two regional caucuses could have much more impact on the crisis in Burma and achieve positive change.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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