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15.10.

1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 297/69

The Commission is convinced that the operation of the Community school milk scheme is consistent with
policy on health issues.

(1999/C 297/091) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3370/98


by Graham Watson (ELDR) to the Commission

(16 November 1998)

Subject: Karen people of Burma

Has the Commission studied the recent ILO report on Burma? What action does it intend to take?

Answer given by Mr Marín on behalf of the Commission

(4 December 1998)

It is clear from recent reports of the heads of mission in Rangoon and from other sources such as the
International labour organisation’s report that the situation in Burma is deteriorating. There are clear
indications of widespread forced labour and intensified harassment of the elected opposition and of the
leader of the National league for democracy (NLD) Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Civilian abuse, extrajudicial executions,
and massive programmes of forced relocation are the daily agenda of the State peace and development council
(SPDC).

The General Affairs Council, held in Luxembourg on 26 October 1998, once again considered the
deteriorating internal situation in Burma and remained deeply concerned at the lack of positive response
from the Burmese authorities to the repeated calls for steps towards the promotion of democracy and human
rights, and national reconciliation.

The Council therefore strengthened the Union common position (1), which was expiring on 28 October 1998
and extended its application for six months to 28 April 1999. The new common position (2) includes a
widening of the visa ban by explicitly including transit visas under the current ban and its extension to cover
Burmese authorities in the tourism sector, while ensuring that the ban is applied rigorously to all individual
members of the SPDC and the military, together with their families. It further echoes the view, expressed by
Daw Aung Suu Kyi, that, in the present situation, it is inappropriate for tourists to visit Burma.

(1) OJ L 287, 8.11.1996.


(2) 98/303/CFSP.

(1999/C 297/092) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3378/98


by Gunilla Carlsson (PPE) to the Commission

(17 November 1998)

Subject: Data protection directive

On 24 October 1998, the Law on Personal Data entered into force in Sweden. This legislation is based, inter
alia, on the EC directive on data protection. Under the Swedish authorities’ strict interpretation of the law, it
will be applied to home pages on the Internet. This means that owners of home pages with chat functions may
be breaking the law because chat pages contain data about individuals and their opinions and because the
Internet is global and the information may be disseminated to countries outside the EU and the EEA.

Was it the Commission’s intention to restrict the type of Internet use described above when the data protection
directive was adopted?