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Letter to Australian Foreign Minist (r)
Subject: Letter to Australian Foreign Minister.
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP Central Committee of ABSDO
Minister for Foreign Affairs PO Box 4010
Room MF27 Auburn South
Parliament House Vic 3122
Fax: (06) 273 4112 27 May 1996
Dear Foreign Minister,
The All Burma Students Democratic Organization (ABSDO) in Australia
welcomes the decision to award Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (1991 Nobel Peace
Laureate) the Companion Order of Australia. This is an important
acknowledgement of the Democratic Oppositions struggle against the SLORC.
We thank you for your firm denunciation of the SLORCs current crackdown
and we hope that this move is a sign of initiating a new forceful policy
on this illegitimate regime.
We look to your government to provide further appropriate action to make
it clear to the SLORC that their oppression is not acceptable to the
international community. We urge that your government consider
incremental action against the SLORC as a response to their persecution
of the democratic movement. We would like to suggest that you begin with
closing down the AusTrade office in Rangoon and change the current
Australian policy to one of discouraging trade, as the current policy is
ineffectual in encouraging or informing Australian business about the
corrupt and oppressive nature of SLORC.
We feel that the Benchmark policy needs a real diplomatic stick attached
to it if it is to be meaningful and we would urge that you consider this
shift to a more action based policy towards SLORC. We request that you do
your utmost to assist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for
Democracy and Burmese people by providing opportunities for her to meet
with Australian parliamentarians and other dignitaries.
We would like Australia to take note of American initiatives on Burma
such as Senator Mitch McConnells bill to implement trade sanctions.
This is a crucial time in Burma and the situation is very different from
1988. We have friends in the international community and the worlds
attention focused on Burma now. We request that you do your utmost to
help legitimise the elected representatives of the people of Burma and
design policies to remove the illegal junta. We would like you to push
the democratic point of view strongly with ASEAN countries, as Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi has stated the current ASEAN policy of constructive
engagement is just a facade for business dealings with the SLORC. We
would like Australia to be more vocal in criticising this policy and
pushing for a change in Burma.
Thank you for your support to the democracy movement of Burma.
All Burma Students Democratic Organization (Australia)