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   by Angus MacKinnon of Agence France-Presse
	   NOORDWIJK, Netherlands, April 7 AFP - European Union foreign 
ministers agreed here today to go ahead with UN resolutions 
criticising the human rights record of Burma, Zaire, Iraq and Iran 
despite failing to reach accord on a similar condemnation of China.
	   The move overcame a standoff when the EU's Dutch presidency 
threatened not to table any resolutions at the UN's Human Rights 
Commission's annual meeting in Geneva after France blocked a common 
EU stance on China.
	   The EU has jointly sponsored a resolution critical of China in 
Geneva every year since 1989.
	   French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette said the EU's 
presidency had to be bound by decisions agreed by the 15 member 
	   "We continue to say that China has to be treated differently 
than other less important states," he said.
	   France's stance that it is better to pursue a dialogue with 
China than to seek confrontation is supported by Germany, Italy and 
Spain but these three countries were willing to go along with the 
resolution in the name of EU unity if Paris lifted its veto.
	   Britain's junior foreign minister David Davies acknowledged the 
row had left the EU's human rights strategy looking "inconsistent," 
but that it was still better to proceed with the other resolutions.
	   "We regretted frankly that we were not able to get a common 
position on China," he said.
	   Britain had been particularly keen on a resolution being 
presented this year because of Beijing's moves to curtail civil 
liberties in Hong Kong in the countdown to the colony's return to 
Chinese rule this summer.
	   Denmark has announced it will table a separate resolution on 
China later this week in Geneva with the backing of the United 
States and a majority of EU states.
	   "I would have very much preferred to see the EU agreeing on a 
resolution as it has done in previous years," Danish Foreign 
Minister Niels Helveg Petersen said here.
	   But China slammed Denmark's plans.
	   "I can say that relations between China and Denmark will be 
seriously damaged politically and economically if Denmark really 
insists on this resolution," said foreign ministry spokesman Shen 
	   "It will be the biggest loser," he told a media briefing on 
improvements in China's human rights situation.
	   Denmark however vowed to press ahead with its plans.
	   "We have made our decision, and it is firm," Petersen said.
	   Human rights groups believe France's stance on the resolution is 
motivated by a concern not to jeopardise a major contract for 
Airbus planes that French President Jacques Chirac is expected to 
clinch on a visit to Beijing next month.
	   French officials denied Paris was responding to pressure from 
the Chinese over the Airbus deal. There had been some evolution in 
China's human rights performance which could justify a less 
confrontational approach, they said.
	   Petersen rejected this analysis. "I accept that there have been 
certain changes in China concerning penal legislation. But on other 
issues there has certainly been no progress.
	   "I disagree with the French assessment that what has happened 
should lead to us not tabling the resolution."
	   Petersen said the dispute was indicative of a fundamental 
problem faced by the European Union as it seeks to forge a common 
foreign policy.
	   "In practice the big countries always stand on their right to go 
their own way."
	   AFP mp

	   BANGKOK, Thailand, April 8 AP - Burmese democracy leader Aung 
San Suu Kyi has appealed in videotape smuggled from Rangoon for 
strong action by other nations to protect members of her political 
party from the military government.
	   The tape, seen in Bangkok, was to be played before the United 
Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva later today.
	   The regime has denied the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights 
access to the country. Suu Kyi has been under virtual house arrest 
since November and messages from her have been increasingly rare.
	   "I put the political rights of the National League for Democracy 
and others working for democracy in Burma as the most important 
item on the agenda of the Human Rights Commission," Suu Kyi said.
	   The tape was made before a parcel bomb exploded Sunday night at 
the home of Lieutenant General Tin Oo, one of the four most 
powerful generals of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration 
Council. The general's eldest daughter was killed, but he escaped 
	   No one has claimed responsibility for the blast and the 
government has yet to accuse anyone. Suu Kyi's party espouses 
political change through non-violent means.
	   The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner said her party's rights were 
of paramount importance because all other democratic political 
parties operating on a national level in Burma already had been 
crushed by the government.
	   The NLD won 82 percent of the vote in a 1990 national election 
that the military refused to honor. A UN General Assembly 
resolution that year called on Burma's authorities to respect the 
election results and institute democracy.
	   Suu Kyi urged the United Nations to see that the resolution was 
implemented and not to "just regard it as a piece of paper."
	   Since May 1996, the military government has staged a series of 
increasingly harsh crackdowns on Suu Kyi's party, arresting 
hundreds and sentencing many to long prison terms.
	   Several party members have been forced to resign under threats 
from the government, Suu Kyi said, and others have been rounded up 
by the army to be used to carry equipment in battle zones.
	   "We need maximum attention on what is happening to the NLD," Suu 
Kyi said, "because it is an indication of how far the authorities 
are prepared to go to prevent democracy from taking root in Burma."
	   Suu Kyi also urged the Thai government to stop forcing Karen 
refugees back to Burma and to allow the UN High Commissioner for 
Refugees to help them.
	   "We would like the Thai government to look upon these refugees 
with compassion," she said.
	   More than 15,000 Karens have fled a recent Burmese army 
offensive, joining an estimated 70,000 refugees from Burma already 
living in Thailand. The Thai government has refused the UNHCR 
access to the camps, and has denied forcing anyone back.
	   The refugees, Thai village militiamen and some Thai soldiers 
have told The Associated Press that refugees have been forced back. 
The United States, the European Union, the United Nations and human 
rights groups have urged Thailand to stop forced repatriations.
	   Suu Kyi called unrest between Buddhist monks and Muslims in 
Burma a symptom of "social unrest related to political 
dissatisfaction and economic problems."
	   Buddhist monks ransacked mosques in several cities last month 
after reports a Buddhist girl had been raped by Muslim men.
	   "Forced labour is a daily business in Burma," Suu Kyi added, 
charging that many children were suffering because of it.
	   The European Union stripped Burma of its trading privileges with 
the economic bloc in March because of evidence of forced labour in 
the country.
	   AP  ts