Australia accused of rewarding Burma too soon | Asia Pacific

Australia accused of rewarding Burma too soon

Australia accused of rewarding Burma too soon

Updated 29 February 2012, 10:20 AEDT

Human rights groups say Australia's easing of sanctions against Burma is only rewarding the country's military regime for making superficial reforms.

Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that former ministers and tourism officials will no longer be subject to travel and financial sanctions.

Mr Rudd says the decision acknowledges that Burma is taking important steps towards a more open democracy and greater engagement with the region.

But Burma activists in Australia say Canberra is out of step with the United States and Europe, which have made strict demands before they'll consider any easing of sanctions.

And long-time Burma watchers are also urging caution, warning that the regime will continue to need incentives to embark on genuine democratic change.

Presenter: Joanna McCarthy

Speakers: Dr Sean Turnell is an Associate Professor of Economics at Macquarie University, Sydney; Zetty Brake, campaign co-ordinator, Burma Campaign Australia

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