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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has issued to police officers on the issuing of penalty notices for disorder in (a) police stations and (b) other locations. 
The Government have issued operational guidance on the issuing of penalty notices for disorder (pnds) to police forces under section 6 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. This guidance sets out the criteria which should be considered by police officers before issuing a pnd in police stations and other locations.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received from the Government of Bahrain on the granting of asylum to Bahraini citizens in the UK. 
Bill Rammell: The issue of asylum was most recently discussed between the Bahraini Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Rashid, and my hon. Friend the Minister for Borders and Immigration in the Home Office on 12 March.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the Burmese Government over the recent closure of house churches and Christian-run orphanages in Rangoon; 
Bill Rammell: We are concerned by reports that the Burmese authorities have closed places of worship for religious minorities and child care centres run by Christian groups in Rangoon. We condemn the marginalisation or persecution of any community based on their religious beliefs or ethnic background. Although it makes the reported abuses no less serious, we believe that the persecution of religious minority groups by the Burmese authorities is often based on their ethnicity and perceived threat to security rather than their faith. We view the regime's actions as part of a wider deterioration in the human rights situation in Burma.
The issue of religious freedom is within the mandate of UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, which covers human rights and fundamental freedoms. We hold regular discussions with Mr. Quintana and his team concerning the human rights abuses we believe to be taking place in Burma, and fully support his efforts. Our ambassador in Burma regularly raises the issue of human rights in his meetings with Burmese Government officials.
Bill Rammell: This is in light of more positive recent political developments in Lebanon, which have moved Lebanon away from the polarised and tense political scene of previous years. This includes progress in national reconciliation talks and the formation of the National Unity Government in which Hezbollah are participating. We believe that occasional and carefully considered contacts with Hezbollah's political representatives will best advance our objective of urging Hezbollah to reject violence and play a constructive, democratic and peaceful role in Lebanese politics in line with UN Security Council Resolutions.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on violations of UN Security Council resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006) by Hezbollah and other armed groups in Lebanon. 
The UN Secretary Generals final report to Members on UNSCR 1559 was issued in October 2008. This provided an update on progress in the implementation of the resolution and highlights areas of concern that continue to impede efforts to strengthen Lebanons sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.
Bill Rammell: We regret that Hezbollah has not yet renounced the use of violence. However we assess that there is a distinction between those members of Hezbollah who are legitimately involved in Lebanese politics and those who are involved in violence and terrorism. We proscribed the military wing in July 2008. We continue to urge Hezbollah to reject violence and play a constructive, democratic and peaceful role in Lebanese politics, in line with UN Security Council Resolutions.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he has taken to encourage the Governments of (a) Syria and (b) Iran to prevent the replenishment of missile stocks held by Hezbollah in Lebanon; 
Bill Rammell: We call on both the Governments of Syria and Iran to cease their support for Hezbollah, which only increases instability in the region. During my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretarys visit to Syria in November 2008, he raised this issue with President Assad. We have serious concerns about Iranian support for Hezbollah. Such support is unacceptable and only serves to undermine regional security. Funding for arms supplies to Hezbollah is contrary to the arms embargo established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of (a) long- and (b) short-range missiles held by Hezbollah in Lebanon. 
Bill Rammell: Since the end of the 2006 Lebanon conflict, we estimate that Hezbollah has replenished its holdings of short and long-range rockets and missiles. This is based upon both statements by Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah and other sources of information. However, we lack definitive figures.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with (a) President Assad and (b) Foreign Minister Muallem on establishing contact with Hezbollah during his visit to Syria in November 2008; and what response was received from each. 
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department last made an assessment of Hezbollah's involvement in terrorist activity; and what the findings of that assessment were. 
Bill Rammell: In July 2008 a thorough assessment of all the components of Hezbollah was carried out to establish a distinction between those members of Hezbollah who are legitimately involved in Lebanese politics and those who are involved in violence and support terrorism. As a result of this assessment the decision was made by the Home Office to proscribe the military wing, which we specified as the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his latest estimate is of the (a) size and (b) strength of Hezbollah's militia; and what reports he has received on progress towards its disarmament. 
Bill Rammell: Hezbollah has not revealed its armed strength publicly, and estimates vary widely. These estimates suggest that Hezbollah's militia consists of a small core of experienced fighters supplemented with much larger numbers of volunteers/reservists.
The latest Secretary General Report on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701 stated that Hezbollah continues to maintain a substantial military capacity distinct from that of the Lebanese State, in direct contravention of UNSCRs 1559 and 1701. The report welcomes the national dialogue as a means to take forward disarmament through a Lebanese-led political process.
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what reports he has received on the (a) physical and (b) psychological effects of rocket and mortar attacks fired from the Gaza Strip on residents in southern Israel; 
Bill Rammell: Our ambassador and officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv frequently travel to towns in southern Israel that have been subject to indiscriminate rocket fire from terrorist groups in Gaza. They have called on schools, hospitals, families and community leaders in and around Sderot and Ashkelon to assess the impact of rocket and mortar attacks. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary also visited Sderot in November 2008, and I went to Ashkelon in December 2008. In recent months the frequency and indiscriminate nature of the attacks that target citizens has had a highly damaging impact on people's everyday lives in these areas. The extent of the psychological damage, especially to children, is clear. In addition to the psychological damage to children, the need to shelter from attacks whilst at school has had a disruptive effect on education. Likewise, the general disruption and physical threat of rocket fire has impeded economic growth and deterred investment. We continue to condemn all terrorist attacks, on southern Israel and elsewhere.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with the US Administration the likely effects of recent developments in the political situation in Israel on the middle east peace process. 
Bill Rammell: We are in regular dialogue with the US Administration. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with both the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Mitchell on 18 March 2009. They discussed a number of issues related to the middle east peace process. Both the US and the UK look forward to working with a new Israeli Government towards a lasting peace in the region.
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular conversations with the US Secretary of State, but they have not discussed North Korea recently. However, our embassy in Washington is in regular contact with US officials dealing with North Korea and we are co-ordinating positions closely in response to North Korea's plan to launch a satellite next month.
Bill Rammell: I have been in regular contact with President Zardari. My discussions covered a number of issues including the appointment of Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles as the UK's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, stability in Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas and the Swat region, prosecuting those responsible for the attacks in Mumbai and the recent political crisis in Pakistan. On the latter I encouraged all parties to come together in the interests of Pakistan and seek a peaceful resolution.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for the future of the Palestinian Government of Prime Minister Fayyad's decision to stand down; and if he will take steps to ensure that the Middle East peace process includes a unified Palestinian Government. 
Bill Rammell: Mr Fayyad is still the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Government. The UK will continue to work towards a unified Palestinian Government. In Cairo, on 25 February 2009, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary stated his support for Egyptian-sponsored efforts towards building a non-partisan, technocratic Government capable of working productively with the international community, which would allow Palestinians to focus jointly on economic development and preparation for elections. I re-emphasised this during the Foreign Affairs Committee evidence session on 4 March 2009.
Tessa Jowell: The Inspire mark is awarded by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to high quality non-commercial projects and programmes inspired by 2012 that deliver achievements in sport, culture, volunteering, the environment and promoting business opportunities.
This first pilot phase for the mark has been predominantly cultural where, alongside nationwide projects and programmes from across all legacy themes, local projects across the nations and regions have been joining the Cultural Olympiad from its launch in September 2008. LOCOG will be targeting and supporting activity across all themes, including sport, this year.
Tom Brake: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many people over the age of 21 defined by the Government Olympic Executive as local have undertaken training placements as part of the Olympic construction process. 
Tessa Jowell: For the month of December 2008, 303 people on the Olympic Park declared themselves as a trainee or an apprentice; 69 of these held a permanent address in one of the five host boroughs and stated that they were over 21 years of age.
In addition to this, to date 315 other individuals have benefited from training at the Plant Training centre on the Olympic Park operated by the National Construction College (NCC). As the centre is managed by a third party we do not hold the age data of candidates. However, 313 of these held a permanent address in one of the five host boroughs.
Tessa Jowell: There are currently seven Tier One contractors engaged in building venues for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and all of these are registered in the UK. These include:
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