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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
Canberra 2600
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.

Central Committee
All Burma Students Democratic Organization (Australia)