Canada responds to release of election date in Burma

(No. 257 – August 14, 2010 – 4:10 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement in response to the announcement of November 7 as the date for elections in Burma:

“While Canada welcomes the Burmese military regime’s commitment to hold democratic elections, we have serious concerns that the elections will be held under oppressive conditions and that they will not be conducted in line with international standards.

“Canada calls on the regime to live up to its commitments to hold free and fair elections by unconditionally releasing all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, engaging in genuine dialogue with members of the democratic opposition and different ethnic groups within Burma, and enabling full democratic participation in the process.

“Canada has imposed the toughest sanctions of any country against the Burmese regime to protest its treatment of the Burmese people, and will continue to engage with all stakeholders that are working toward a democratic Burma.

“The people of Burma deserve to have their voices heard without fear of intimidation and violence. Canada continues to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874