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Calls to scrap ASEAN trade deal over Burma

Australia Broadcasting Corporation | 28.09.2007

Calls to scrap ASEAN trade deal over Burma

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) says the Federal Government should cease Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) free trade negotiations, in line with Burma sanctions.

ASEAN foreign ministers have called on Burma’s military rulers to immediately stop using violence against pro-democracy demonstrators.

At least nine people died in renewed clashes between protesters and security forces in Burma on Thursday.

AMWU national president Julius Roe says Australia should cease ASEAN free trade negotiations immediately.

"It would be a totally appropriate thing to do, given that a number of the countries in the ASEAN region deal with the military junta in Burma as close friends, and are doing nothing to put pressure on the Burma regime to respect human rights," he said.

"Under a free trade agreement between Australia and the ASEAN region we would be giving preferential treatment to goods and services from the military junta regime in Burma, and we all know that in Burma there’s been systematic abuse of human and labor rights for many years."

 source: ABC