Australia should take stronger steps to condemn Myanmar coup as member of ASEAN

Former Australian human rights commissioner Chris Sidoti says the federal government should take stronger steps to address Myanmar’s violent coup as it has a vested interest given both nations are members of ASEAN.

“There are steps that can be taken and unfortunately – with some rare examples of exception – those steps have not been taken to date, and that includes the Australian government,” he told Sky News.

“It should be joining with a small number of other countries, most notably this week the European Union, in placing sanctions on the major military businesses in Myanmar as well as with the top military leaders.”

He said Australia had really taken “minimal steps” and should address the issue “because it’s a relatively close neighbour and importantly it’s one of the members of ASEAN, the closest regional grouping of nations that Australia has”.

“If things go wrong inside ASEAN … that will cause problems for Australia.

“We have an interest in ensuring that that whole group functions well and that all states within the group operate as well as can possibly be expected of nation-states.”

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