Australian Government.Prompted to immediately sanction Burmese military leaders

The Australian government is facing a new call to impose new sanctions on the Burmese junta (also known as Myanmar).

analysis(pdfThe Australian International Development Council (ACFID), the supreme body of Australia’s non-governmental organizations, has criticized the government’s decision not to impose new sanctions since the military coup in February. ..

“The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the EU have used the relevant Magnitsky Act to sanction a total of 38 individuals and 17 groups,” ACFID said in an analysis, which sanctions the power and influence of the junta. He said it was “especially effective” in limiting.

Despite the pressure, the Australian Government has so far decided to oppose imposing sanctions on Burmese military junta, valuing it as limiting the country’s influence on Burma.

Min Aung Hlaing
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing of Burma will arrive at the ASEAN Summit on April 24, 2021 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Muchlis Jr./Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Lynda Worthaisong Talked about a parliamentary investigation The ministry scrutinized a wide range of policy options, but concluded that the introduction of sanctions “has no positive impact on the field.”

“Our relationship [with Burma] Different, our levers are different, our influence is different, “Worthaisong said, referring to the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States and Canada.

“As a country in the region, we believe that our interests are best served by potentially having a direct influence,” she said. “Our view is, in fact, in line with the rest of the region, including Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN countries. We do not authorize any of them.”

Worthaisong acknowledged that Australia has limited influence on Burma, but believes that Australia should maintain that influence.

“We need to get involved with the administration in a few small ways to provide support. Given the amount of suffering in the country, that’s really important,” she said.

Worthaisong also emphasized that the decision is under active consideration and that sanctions may change at any time depending on the circumstances.

However, former Civil Rights Commissioner Chris Sidty urged the government to change its tack and impose immediate sanctions on military leaders.

Anti-coup protesters are holding a sign saying “We will not accept a military coup” during a march in Mandalay, Burma, on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP photo)

“The strategy is [not to impose sanctions] So far adopted and functioning by the Australian Government. ” Sidty said.. “The Myanmar military is at the heart of a complex network of commercial interests, from beer to banking.”

“The Australian government must join in a like-minded democracy and attack the Myanmar army where it hurts,” he said.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne also said that 390 Burmese civil society organizations (pdf), Called Australia’s negligence “shameful”.

“Our 390 civil society organizations across Myanmar are shocked by Australia’s lack of ongoing action against Myanmar, which is bolding the terrorist military junta,” 5 The letter dated 18th of March states. “We are deeply disappointed by your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s assessment that additional sanctions on Myanmar will not have a positive impact on the scene.”

“We urge Australia and the international community to take action against these criminals through targeted sanctions and other appropriate measures,” they said.

Sean Turnell, Australian economic adviser to exiled leader Aung San Suu Kyi, remains in custody despite the continued efforts of the Australian government.

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