Australia must work urgently to reverse democratic backsliding in Myanmar

02 Feb, 2021

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is appalled by the Myanmar military’s action to seize control of Government and detain State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and key democratically elected leaders.

ACFID stands in solidarity with civil society in Myanmar; condemns the seizing of power by the Myanmar military; and expresses the urgent need for an immediate and peaceful return to a democratic transition.

ACFID CEO, Marc Purcell, commented:

“The long road to peace, human development and democratic rule has been hard fought in Myanmar. Reports of internet blackouts, arbitrary arrests and fear of lethal violence is of grave concern.

“Running a State on behalf of its people is a privilege earned by election, not a prize to be stolen in broad daylight.”

ACFID welcomes the statement from Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, in calling for respect for rule of law in Myanmar and the immediate release of civilian leaders.

Purcell continued:

“We call on the Australian Government to work urgently and comprehensively with other Governments, through the United Nations and regionally, to urge Myanmar’s military to release all those arbitrarily detained, restore internet access and all forms of communication, to respect the November 2020 election results, and to allow for the immediate commencement of the new Parliament by elected representatives. 

“Given the major significance of this development in Australia’s region, the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister should provide the opportunity for the Australian Parliament to discuss this matter urgently and a Ministerial statement should be given to explain Australia’s response and actions on this matter.”

ENDS

For further information contact Tim Watkin on 0401 721 064 or at [email protected]