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Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Indonesia regarding the impending executions of (a) Fabianus Tibo, (b) Domingus da Silva and (c) Marianus Riwu in Sulawesi; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: On 14 November 2005, as EU Presidency, we expressed to the Government of Indonesia the EU's regret at the decision to carry out the executions and urged the Indonesian government not to do so and to consider the abolition of the death penalty altogether.
At present, there are no plans for the Government to make further representations on these cases. However, the current EU presidency, Austria, followed this up with the Government of Indonesia in January in separate meetings with the Minister of Law and Human Rights and the Attorney-General and in a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will intercede in the case of (a) Fabianus Tibo, (b) Domingus da Silva and (c) Marianus Riwu in Sulawesi, Indonesia. 
Dr. Howells: The UK has made regular representations to the King and Government of Nepal, calling on them to restore democracy and to pursue a negotiated political settlement to the conflict involving all of the main actors. Most recently, on 5 April officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) met with the Nepalese ambassador to the UK. We told him that the King and Government were to a large extent responsible for the current impasse: the King's offer to talk to the parties did not amount to a substantive move towards restoration of democracy. We conveyed our concerns about the dangers of a heavy-handed crackdown in response to demonstrations, including the announcement of a shoot to kill policy.
In February FCO officials visited Kathmandu and met with the Home Minister. They conveyed our concerns about continuing arrests and detention of political activists, restrictions on the media and the absence of consultations involving all sides in Nepal leading to a full return to democracy.
From 1824 March the hon. Member was part of a delegation of British parliamentarians which visited Nepal, funded by the FCO under the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. That visit aimed to support the democratic movement and put pressure on the King to restore democracy. The first objective was achieved. The delegation held high profile meetings, both individually and in joint seminars, with all the main party leaders except Madhav Kumar Nepal. The delegation encouraged party activists in Biratnagar, Nepal's second largest town, in the Terai. The second objective proved more difficult. The King avoided meeting the delegation. The delegation did meet the King's most senior advisor, Tulsi Giri, and the Chief of Army Staff. They also had dinner with a number of the King's advisors.
On 11 April, the presidency of the European Union issued a statement deploring the escalating violence and excessive use of force by all sides and calling upon those concerned to exercise restraint. The statement also called on the King of Nepal to take an urgent initiative to resolve the present problems by restoring democracy and by reaching out to all political forces to initiate a dialogue for peace.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the actions of Maoist insurgents in Nepal; and what assessment he has made of the implications of such actions for British-Nepalese relations. 
The Maoists have committed innumerable abhorrent acts including murder, abduction, extortion and intimidation of innocent people. We condemn these acts of violence and have clearly stated that we cannot condone their violence and intimidation in any circumstances.
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We deeply regret the Maoists' decision to end their unilateral ceasefire in January 2006 but welcome the current Maoist ceasefire within Kathmandu. We believe that the Maoists must eventually join a wider peace process because a military victory by either side is unachievable.
The insurgency risks destabilising Nepal and has implications for regional security and important UK interests, particularly Gurkha recruitment and welfare and the provision of development assistance.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assurances the King of Nepal has given to (a) the UK Government and (b) the European Union that the elections to be held in Nepal in 2007 will be held on a free and fair basis;and what assessment he has made of the powers the King is likely to relinquish to any freely elected party. 
Dr. Howells: The King has set out his roadmap for parliamentary elections without due consultation with the political parties. For parliamentary elections to be credible, they would need to take place in the context of an overall peace process and within a political and security climate which enables all parties to put up candidates for free and fair polls. If the elections take place in April 2007, the King will be judged on his actions. It is too early to assess how the King is likely to react to any freely elected party.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he plans to take towards ensuring that the elections to be held in Nepal in 2007 are free and fair. 
Dr. Howells: For parliamentary elections to be credible, they would need to take place in the context of an overall peace process and within a political and security climate which attracts all parties to put up candidates for free and fair polls. Working with international partners, as well as in bilateral contacts with the King, Government and the political parties, we will continue to urge the King to act urgently to restore full democracy and enable negotiations to agree a consensus roadmap towards peace.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is prepared to take if the elections to be held in Nepal in 2007 are not conducted on a free and fair basis. 
Dr. Howells: For parliamentary elections to be credible, they would need to take place in the context of an overall peace process and within a political and security climate which enables all parties to put up candidates for free and fair polls. It is too early to say what circumstances will pertain if and when elections are held. We will judge our response in light of those circumstances.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which international observers he expects to take part in the elections in Nepal in
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2007 to ensure that they are free and fair; what action he plans to take to ensure that such observers take part in the election; and what representations he has made to the King of Nepal on the participation of observers. 
Dr. Howells: Elections can only take place in the context of a secure environment and a meaningful political process. It is too early to say what conditions will pertain at the time of any elections, or even if elections will be possible in the timeframe indicated by the King, and therefore what role election observers might play.
Ian Pearson: The talks continue in permanent session, but progress is still slow. When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary addressed the talks on 14 February, he made clear that we expected more rapid progress. We welcome the African Union's emphasis on the need for a high-level push to secure a peace agreement by the end of April. We are pressing the parties to reach a deal by this date.
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