Statement by Minister Baird on Burmese Political Prisoner Release

January 13, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement on the release of Burmese political prisoners:

“Canada welcomes reports that a large number of prisoners, including political activists, religious and ethnic leaders, and reporters, have been released by the Government of Burma.

“This is a significant step forward. We urge Burmese officials to continue on this path and take further steps to ensure freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for all in Burma.

“We also welcome reports that a ceasefire agreement was reached earlier this week with the Karen National Union and the announcement of parliamentary by-elections on April 1.

“Canada continues to call on the Burmese authorities to engage in an inclusive dialogue with opposition and ethnic groups.

“We are encouraged by the steps taken recently by the Burmese authorities on democratic development and are hopeful that these are first steps towards a better future for the Burmese people.”

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