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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Page: 6056

Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (16:14): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 1030, standing in my name for today, relating to the fact-finding mission on Myanmar, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

An honourable senator: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator DI NATALE: In lieu of suspending standing orders, I seek leave to make a one-minute statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted.

Senator DI NATALE: Once again we see the government blocking the will of the Senate and refusing us the chance to vote on this important issue. It's interesting, isn't it? The government was prepared to contemplate supporting a motion on Myanmar—provided that it was the words that they wanted, rather than the truth. We refused to water down our motion at the government's request, because we wanted the truth to be exposed. The truth is that the government supported a fact-finding mission, and that fact-finding mission has found, as part of its evidence, evidence of murder, of rape and of torture of an unknown number of innocent Rohingya people that led to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their home. The mission's report states that these acts amounted to crimes against humanity, war crimes and possibly genocide. Yet the Liberal government is still cooperating with the Myanmar military, refusing to impose targeted sanctions and refusing to support a referral to the ICC. It is a disgrace.

Debate adjourned.