Myanmar coup: one year on and still no action from Australia


Australian Greens foreign affairs spokesperson Senator Janet Rice has condemned the Australian Government’s resounding inaction against the Myanmar military and again urged the Foreign Minister to impose targeted sanctions against Junta leaders and their business interests.

Senator Rice said:

“It’s now been a year since the coup in Myanmar, the brutal junta are still in power, and the Australian Government has done nothing but sit on its hands watching the body count pile up and democracy fade into memory.

“Junta security forces have killed almost 1500 people, including 75 children, and locked up thousands of journalists, activists, and other civilians - including Australian Sean Turnell and Myanmar’s democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

“The Greens are again urging the Australian Government to impose targeted sanctions against Commander-in-Chief Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing, other key junta leaders, and their business interests. It is unconscionable that we haven’t already when that’s exactly what hundreds of organisations on the ground in Myanmar have long been calling for.

“The US, UK and Canada had imposed targeted sanctions against the military regime months ago, and have done so again today. Australia is an outlier among our allies as we continue to ignore a year of human rights abuses and tacitly legitimise undemocratic rule. 

“Meanwhile our government-owned Future Fund is investing in companies that are directly linked to Myanmar’s violent military junta.

“The coup anniversary statement from the Foreign Minister today is an insult to the people in Myanmar and the Burmese community here in Australia. All concern and no action does nothing to halt the junta’s violence.

“What is the Foreign Minister waiting for? Parliament has now passed Magnitsky legislation - it’s time we use it.

“While facing violent retribution from the Myanmar military, we’ve seen thousands of brave people in Myanmar fighting every day to end this injustice and restore democracy. The Australian Government must finally stand with them and take action against this coup.”