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Wednesday, 25 November 2015
Page: 8986

Senator LUDLAM (Western AustraliaCo-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (16:01): I am hoping that no division will be necessary, Mr President. I ask that general business notice of motion No. 956 standing in my name for today, which relates to some rather nasty political developments in Cambodia, be taken as a formal motion.

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

Senator Ryan: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.

Senator LUDLAM: I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator LUDLAM: Thank you. I am not sure whether Senator Ryan is shortly going to give us a condescending lecture about not debating foreign policy matters using formal motions. However, we will leave that to Senator Ryan. In recent days, actually, the Senate has passed unanimously a number of motions on foreign policy issues, and I was about to congratulate the government on this new approach. I do not see why the government would be unable to pass a fairly simple Senate resolution today calling on the Cambodian government, in strong terms, to revoke the arrest warrant issued against opposition leader Mr Sam Rainsy. These are people who are political figures and have been arrested and had their parliamentary entitlements and privileges stripped, and it is an extremely bad sign for democracy in Cambodia. I would have thought a unanimous resolution to that effect by this Senate would be something very productive. The United States Department of State has issued very strongly worded statements to that effect. (Time expired)