Thursday (13th May 2021) – ticker NEWS Journalist Anthony Lucas interviewed Democracy for Burma Co-founder Craig Hodges about the situation on the ground in Burma after 100 days had passed since the launch of the failed coup. Anthony also asked about the Democracy for Campaign and its aims and activities here in Sydney Australia.
Democracy For Buma
The Democracy for Burma (#D4B) campaign started in Sydney Australia in late February 2021.
All five of the campaign founders have lived and worked in Burma over the last 20 years. Since the February 1st coup, they have all seen their family, friends and work colleagues in Burma suffer at the hands of the brutal Burmese military (the Tatmadaw).
Democracy in Burma is no more. Burmese Senior General Min Aung Hlaing seized control of power, detained many of the democratically elected leaders and embarked on a brutal and bloody crackdown.
The D4B campaign comes in response to this injustice.
The campaign actively supports pro-democracy activities, the civil disobedience movement (#CDM), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (#CRPH), the newly formed National Unity Government (#NUG) and various networks that provide support and finance to people imperilled by the failed coup.
In Sydney, D4B will hold a Semiotics of Protest: A Burmese Inspired Protest Art Exhibition in association with The Art Syndicate gallery in 344 Bourke Street, Surry Hills. The exhibition will open on Sunday 16th May 2021. Funds raised will go to supply emergency medical supplies badly needed in Burma.
Running concurrently with the exhibition, D4B will host a series of weekly panel discussions, which will form the basis of a 4-part Podcast Series called the ‘D4B Debates’. Hosted by Shane Brady, D4B is lining up 3 expert panellists each week to discuss: The background to the Feb 1st coup, the National Unity Government & CRPH, Australia’s role in Burma and the Humanitarian Assistance to Burma.
Learn more here: www.democracyforburma.com.au
Media Contact: Craig Hodges 0481006699
Tuesday 11th May 2021 – Dr Nang Si Si Win (Ying) spoke with the Voice of America (VOA) Burmese service about the issue of sanctions targeted at family members of the Burmese military living in Australia.
Burmese VOA picked up this story in the recent Sydney Morning Herald article on the same topic after Ying spoke with journalist Anthony Galloway.
NB This news article and audio file is in Burmese.
The focus of the interview was on Ying’s knowledge and assistance with ‘targeted sanctions’. Seen by many as an effective method to pressure the Burmese military (Tatmadaw), targeted sanction are once again under serious consideration here in Australia by the Department of Home Affairs.
Any associated news article will be posted here in the coming days.
Sydney (11th May 2021) – Democracy for Burma campaign Co-Founders Geoff Cohn OAM (right) and Craig Hodges (left) met with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr today in Sydney Australia.
Broad-ranging discussions included Mr Carr’s memories of his official visits to Burma, the D4B campaign and its aims, the situation on the ground in Burma since the failed February 1st coup, as well as talks focussed on some frank advice provided by Mr Carr about how to advance the campaign agenda.
D4B extended an invitation to Mr Carr to attend the opening of the Protest Art Exhibition – 12:00 noon Sunday 16th May 2021 at The Art Syndicate gallery on 344 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.
Mr Carr is also considering joining one of the D4B Debate panels in the coming weeks and is expected to confirm his involvement in the coming days.
D4B wishes to thank Ms Margo Delaney for her assistance with the meeting planning and coordination.
#Myanmar #Burma #D4B #DemocracyForBurma #ForeignPolicy
Human rights advocates and Burmese Australians are calling on the Australian government to sanction members of the country’s armed forces – known as the Tatmadaw – after it staged a coup against the democratically elected government, including its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on February 1. They also want the government to cancel the visas of family members living in Australia who are being financially supported.
Home Affairs has started looking into some Myanmar nationals living in Australia, including the son of a senior member of the military government. The Australian government will assess whether to cancel, or not renew, the visas of the individuals, according to multiple sources who were not authorised to speak publicly.
A list prepared by a group of pro-democracy activists in Australia, which has been handed to the Morrison government, includes the names of 15 relatives of senior members of Myanmar’s military government who they believe may be benefiting financially from their family back home.
Nang Si Si Win – Ying, a Burmese Australian doctor who helped to prepare the list, said Australia needed targeted sanctions against members of Myanmar’s military government. She said assets in Australia would likely not be in the name of Myanmar military members or their family, so it required a detailed investigation.
“We need to get those who are here, sanction them, at least then they will know their grandchildren or children are affected and it will make them think twice,” she said.
“The families of junta members are here in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, and most of them are in Singapore where sanctions are not there and finances are flowing freely.
“The assets might not be directly under their name, they might be under the name of a third party – so we need to make sure those assets are frozen and they can not mobilise their arms. They should be deported and the visas should be ceased.”
Australia has sanctioned five officers in the Tatmadaw who are accused of overseeing violence against Rohingya Muslims, but this pre-dated the military coup.
By Anthony Galloway and Nick McKenzie
Dr Nang Si Si Win (Ying) spoke with Phillip Adams on his Radio National program Late Night Live on the 3rd May 2021.
The topics of discussion ranged from the comparisons between the 1998 uprising and the 2021 coup protests, the civil disobedience movement (#CDM), to the medical community involvement in opposing the coup and discussions around ethnic community groups coming together to oppose the Burmese military (Tatmadaw).
Click on the link below to hear the interview;
The Democracy for Burma campaign group would like to thank program Host Phillip Adams, A/Exec Producer Anna Whitfeld and Producer Jackie Dent for the opportunity to have Ying speak to Late Night Live audiences.
Protest Art Exhibition
The Democracy for Burma campaign – in association with The Art Syndicate Gallery in Surry Hills Sydney – is preparing to host a month-long ‘Protest Art Exhibition’ commencing in mid-May 2021.
Drawing on a long history of protest art activism coming out of Burma, D4B aims to use the exhibition as a vehicle to raise public awareness about the unfolding crisis in Burma.
Funds raised from the sale of artwork during the exhibition will be directed to emergency medical relief groups and the civil disobedience movement (#CDM) in Burma.
D4B Debates – A Podcast Series
The protest art exhibition will coincide with the recording of a four-part podcast series in the gallery space.
Hosted by campaign co-founder Shane Brady, each week a panel of speakers will be invited to debate issues relating to four key themes associated with the failed coup in Burma.
- Background to the February 1st coup
- National Unity Government (NUG) & CRPH
- Australia’s Role in Burma
- Humanitarian Assistance
Each podcast recording will start off with a facilitated panel discussion followed by an open Q&A session with questions from the audience.
Podcast Participation – Confirmed Speakers
- Manny Maung – Human Rights Watch
‘They need to feel it personally’
Geoff Cohn OAM from Democracy for Burma, a pro-democracy campaign group, told SBS News that the imposition of sanctions would send a powerful message.
“Where sanctions hit is when they are aimed at senior military figures and their families,” he said. “They need to feel it personally.
“They need to know that their bank accounts are under threat and they need their children to be saying ‘Dad, what have you done? My studies have been terminated, I was doing so well in Australia’.”
Reported by Catalina Florez – 19th March 2021