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Downer fails Burmese.



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Sen Kerry Nettle

MEDIA RELEASE 18.06.03

Downer fails Burmese

The Greens have given notice today of a motion calling on the Government to get serious about the continuing abuse of civil, political, and human rights in Burma.

"Aung San Suu Kyi will be spending her 58th birthday in custody tomorrow and Mr Downer continues to reject the need for trade sanctions," Senator Nettle said.

"The Foreign Minister admits that our trade and investment with Burma is small but still refuses to join the EU and USA in imposing restrictions.

"This increased focus on Burma by the international community represents an historic opportunity to return the country to the path of democracy. Australia can and must do more to ensure this path is taken.

"The Greens welcome the suspension of the Government's ill-conceived 'human rights training' programme, but call on the Minister to live up to his Government's recent rhetoric concerning international human rights abuses and act decisively in the name of democracy in our region.

"The Burmese people have been suffering for decades under a cruel military regime, which has been implicated in the massacre of Aung San Suu Kyi supporters on May 30th this year, the Australian Government's appalling record of appeasement of the Junta must stop.

Senator Kerry Nettle will be addressing a demonstration of Burmese activists outside The Burmese Embassy on Thursday 19th June as part of a global action in solidarity with the Burmese people.

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146