|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Battle: The human rights situations in Burma is appalling. We take every opportunity to condemn the whole range of violations including forced labour, the persecution of the Karen and other ethnic minorities, forced relocation, torture, rape, arbitrary killings and denial of political rights which regularly take place and to call for urgent improvement. We maintain pressure on the Burmese authorities in a variety of ways, for example through supporting a tough EU Common Position; co-sponsoring United Nations resolutions; and supporting action in the International Labour Organisation.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Sri Lankan Government following the massacre of 25 Tamil youths held in the Bindunuwena Rehabilitation Centre in Sri Lanka on 25 October 2000. 
Mr. Hain: We were shocked to learn of the terrible massacre at the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Centre. We have made clear our concerns to the Sri Lankan government and I raised the incident with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister when I visited Colombo in November. We are pleased that the government quickly undertook to
15 Jan 2001 : Column: 29W
conduct a full inquiry into the massacre. We have underlined the need for the inquiry to be independent, swift and transparent.
Mr. Vaz: The government of the day condemned the massacres; a view shared by this Government. Neither this Government nor previous British Governments have judged the evidence to be sufficiently unequivocal to persuade us that these events should be categorised as genocide as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many persons have appeared before the International War Crimes Tribunal; and how many have been (a) found guilty and (b) acquitted. 
Mr. Hain: Sierra Leone returned to full civilian democratic rule in March 1996 when President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah was elected. But his Government have been prevented from governing the whole of the country because of the long running civil war. We are confident that if all the parties involved in the conflict abide by the Abuja ceasefire agreement signed in November 2000, the Sierra Leone Government will, with the continued help of the international community, continue to extend their authority throughout the country.
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government on their treatment of Palestinian civilians. 
Mr. Hain: We regularly raise our concerns about human rights with the Israeli authorities and have done so on a number of occasions since 28 September. In addition there have been EU demarches to the Israeli Authorities, most recently about the serious humanitarian consequences of Israeli closures, which greatly restricts the movement of
15 Jan 2001 : Column: 30W
Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what strategic military value is given in the context of the sanctions regime applied against Iraq to the inclusion on the proscribed list of (a) dyes, (b) easels, (c) envelopes, (d) spectacles, (e) flower pots, (f) forks, (g) fountain pens, (h) girdles, (i) handkerchiefs, (j) glue and (k) hearing aides. 
As my hon. Friend will be aware from the answer to a similar question tabled by him, 20 December 2000, Official Report, column 203W, United Nations Security Council resolution 1284 (1999) introduced "fast-track" procedures in key humanitarian and infrastructure sectors. More than $3 billion worth of humanitarian goods have already been fast-tracked to Iraq in this way. These goods, which include foodstuffs, medical, agricultural, educational, water and sanitation supplies and oil spare parts no longer require Sanctions Committee approval but only need to be notified to the UN Secretariat. Under Security Council resolution 1330 the lists of "fast-track" goods are being extended to include goods in the electricity and housing sectors.
work under the Defence Capabilities Initiative towards more effective and interoperable NATO forces;
NATO's collective determination to reinforce its European pillar and its commitment to a balanced and dynamic transatlantic partnership;
European Defence, where NATO welcomed the outcome of the Nice European Council as the basis for permanent arrangements between the EU and NATO;
NATO's commitment to remain open to new members;
NATO's support for work to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
15 Jan 2001 : Column: 31W
Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the detention of the Greek Cypriot Panicos Tsiakourmas on 12 December 2000 by Turkish forces; and what representations have been made to the Turkish authorities. 
Mr. Vaz: The Government regard the detention of Panicos Tsiakourmas as a very serious matter. Our High Commissioner has made strong representations to Mr. Denktash about the circumstances of Mr. Tsiakourmas' arrest. We have also raised our concerns with the Turkish authorities in Nicosia, Ankara and London. I met Mrs. Tsiakourmas and my hon. Friend the Member for Edmonton (Mr. Love) on 9 January. We will continue to raise the issue until it is resolved satisfactorily.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action is being taken to secure the immediate release of Mr. Tsiakourmas, a Greek Cypriot national by the Turkish Cypriot authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: The Government regard the detention of Panicos Tsiakourmas as a very serious matter. Our High Commissioner has made strong representations to Mr. Denktash about the circumstances of Mr. Tsiakourmas' arrest. We have also raised our concerns with the Turkish authorities in Nicosia, Ankara and London. As my hon. Friend knows, we met Mrs. Tsiakourmas on 9 January. We will continue to raise the issue until it is resolved satisfactorily.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations are being made to the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot authorities regarding the medical condition of Mr. Tsiakourmas; what treatment has been provided to ensure his health does not deteriorate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Vaz: Our High Commissioner in Nicosia is keeping in close contact with the UN and the Tsiakourmas family concerning Mr. Tsiakourmas' health and welfare. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing Mrs. Tsiakourmas to see me. According to information given to us by the UN, a doctor specialising in diabetes cases saw and treated Mr. Tsiakourmas as required on 8 January. Our High Commissioner has urged the Turkish Cypriot authorities to allow Mr. Tsiakourmas regular access, through the UN, to a doctor specialising in diabetes cases. The UK Government regard the detention of Panicos Tsiakourmas as a very serious matter. We will continue to make strong protests to the Turkish Cypriots and raise our concerns with the Turkish authorities, until the case is satisfactorily resolved.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what investigations have taken place into the events surrounding the abduction of Mr. Tsiakourmas; what facts have been established in relation to the charges under which he is being detained; and if he will make a statement. 
15 Jan 2001 : Column: 32W
conduct an investigation, but the evidence so far available raises serious questions about the circumstances in which Mr. Tsiakourmas' vehicle was abandoned in the Eastern Sovereign Base Area and the basis of his arrest. Our High Commissioner has therefore made strong representations to Mr. Denktash and we have raised our concerns with the Turkish authorities in Nicosia, Ankara and London. We will continue to press this case until it is resolved satisfactorily.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|