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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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Carr pushes barrow for Burmese regime while repression continues

Foreign Minister Bob Carr's enthusiasm for making Burma ‘open for business' will undermine the movement for further reform, the Australian Greens warned today.

Greens spokesperson for Burma Senator Scott Ludlam said "Minister Carr's lobbying of European politicians to permanently lift sanctions on Burma is hazardous in its haste".

"The European Union suspended, rather than abolished, sanctions on Burma because there is still much work to be done on human rights and political freedom in the country.

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Burmese strikes on Kachin show army’s grip on power still strong

More than two weeks of ferocious military strikes against Kachin rebels and civilians in Burma show the army still has a strong grip on power in the country, the Greens warned today.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Australian authorities had "enthusiastically pursued renewed diplomatic and trade relations with Burma without considering the ongoing violence and repression within the country - undermining the incentive for further reform".

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Rushed military ties with Burma could come at a heavy cost

Scott Ludlam 6 Nov 2012

Moves to build military ties between Canberra and Rangoon could potentially weaken the movement for reforms in Burma, the Greens warned today.

Senator Scott Ludlam queried the terms of engagement proposed by Prime Minister Gillard in resuming military ties with Burma while the Burmese army continues to persecute ethnic minorities.

"If this is about assisting the regime with security sector reform and improving operating procedures that have shocked the world in past decades, then there may be some value in closer ties.

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Burma

Scott Ludlam 15 Oct 2012

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (15:47): by leave-I seek leave to amend general business notice  of motion No. 962 standing in my name, relating to  political prisoners in Burma, before be asking that it be taken as a formal motion.

Leave granted.

Senator LUDLAM: Thank you. I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) important steps have been taken towards political reform in Burma,

(ii) on 19 September 2012 Burmese authorities released several dozen political prisoners, and

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