9 January 2012
The Australian Government is revising its Burma sanctions list and reducing the number of individuals to whom it applies.
The changes to the sanctions list are an acknowledgement that Burma is taking a number of important steps towards a more open democracy and greater engagement with the region.
“We hope positive developments, such as the increased participation of opposition parties in the political process, the release of around 220 political prisoners, and new labour laws that will legalise trade unions, will continue. In this context we will keep our approach to sanctions under review,” Mr Rudd said.
Australia applies targeted financial sanctions and travel restrictions to nominated individuals and has an arms embargo in place, which will remain.
The new sanctions list will reflect changes to Burma’s government and military structures as well as administrative updates in line with Australia’s new Autonomous Sanctions Regulations.
“Australia retains the ability to add individuals to the sanctions list at any time, but members of Burma’s new Government who were not previously on Australia’s sanctions list will not be listed at this time,” said Mr Rudd.
“Former Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are no longer in politics will be removed from the list, as will tourism officials.”
Mr Rudd said the Government was in discussion with Aung San Suu Kyi and other stakeholders regarding Australia’s sanctions policy and political developments in Burma.
“There is much progress still to be made in Burma, and Australia continues to urge the release of all political prisoners, free and fair by-elections and the peaceful resolution of ethnic conflicts in Burma.”
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