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Carr pushes trade with Burma while regime still uses child soldiers

While the Australian Government pushes open slather trade with Burma, the country is plagued by sectarian violence and the continued use of child soldiers by the Burmese government, the Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson on Burma, Senator Scott Ludlam, said "the resource-rush which appears to be driving Australian foreign policy on Burma may perversely end up consolidating the regime's hold on power and attendant human rights abuses. The Australian Government should urgently rethink its sanctions policy, lest ‘constructive engagement' end up as complicity".

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AUSAID Burma

Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Thursday 2 June 2011

Senator LUDLAM: I have a couple of questions relating to Burma as it relates to our aid program. I understand there was a recent Burma conference at ANU called Burma/Myanmar Update, held on 16 and 17 May in Canberra. I understand that this conference was funded by AusAID-or that is what the conference convener said. Can you confirm for us whether or not AusAID funded that conference?

Mr Moore: Yes, we have provided funding to that Burma update conference for some years. We were a funder this year as well.

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Government fails to cut ties with torture unit

The Australian Greens have criticised the Government for failing to take action in response to allegations an Indonesian unit supported by Australian authorities has used torture against peaceful protestors.

On November 4 this year Greens legal affairs spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, called on the Government to stop funding Detachment 88, an Indonesian ‘counter-terrorism' unit that has been linked to a series of human rights abuses.

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Urgent action needed on Burma's humanitarian crisis

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to do everything it can to help the 20,000 Burmese refugees being forced back into Burma by the Thai Government.

"Australia is considering boosting the aid it sends to the Thai-Burma border where thousands of people are seeking refuge. We should bring forward this aid funding now to partner organisations in the area, rather than waiting for the emergency to get any worse," said Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

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