Now not the time to weaken stance on Burma – WA Senator
Media Release: Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, Monday January 9th, 2012
The Australian Government should be wary of reducing the number of individuals subject to its Burma sanctions list, the Australian Greens warned today.
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the Burmese regime is yet to make any substantial progress towards loosening its grip on power.
“The recent elections were subject to a series of structural constraints and acts of out-and-out electoral fraud which rendered the outcome a hideous foregone conclusion: the junta’s domination of the nominal parliament.
“Despite some symbolic gestures, serious human rights violations have actually increased in Burma over the past 12 months.
“There are still more than 1500 political prisoners behind bars in Burma, and military attacks on civilians were stepped up in 2011. Why is the Australian Government rewarding this wretched conduct?”
Senator Ludlam said if smoke and mirrors ‘reforms’ are all it takes to get the international community to weaken its stance on Burma’s regime, then illusions are all the regime will cough up.
“The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced all EU sanctions against Burma will remain in place until all political prisoners are freed. A strong united front is necessary to keep up and indeed increase the pressure on the regime.”
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302