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Australia must follow US lead on trade sanctions against Burma

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Senator Meg Lees

Australian Democrats Deputy Leader

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The Australian Democrats have welcomed the imposition of United States trade sanctions against Burma.

"At last!" Democrats Deputy Leader Senator Meg Lees said.

"For years the Democrats have been calling on our successive governments to impose these sanctions.

"The Federal Government must act now to follow the US example and to impose immediate Australian trade and investment sanctions against Burma.

"There can be no doubt that SLORC, the military junta which controls Burma, is one of the most repressive, brutal and vicious regimes on earth.

"It is morally wrong to do business with these murderous thugs who so blatantly deprive the Burmese people of the basic human rights, rights which we enjoy and take for granted.

"The Democrats believe that the international community, including the Australian Government, has a responsibility to do everything in its power to help the victims of SLORC.

"For that reason we commend the US Government for its initiative and urge the Australian Government to immediately follow their example.

"Trade sanctions work. As in the case of South Africa and apartheid, a coordinated international effort which includes sanctions, is the most effective way of achieving democracy in Burma.

"Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has called on Australia and other countries to stop doing business with these people.

"We call on the Coalition to heed her voice and impose sanctions now."

To arrange comment contact Kelly Westell on (08) 8295 8911.

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