Oz military makes direct appeal
With the military set to hold onto power in Myanmar, our Vice-Chief of the Australian Defence Force David Johnston made a Monday phone call to Vice-Senior General Soe Win to appeal for the return of Aussie economist Sean Turnell. A statement said he also called for the restoration of democracy and release of the nation’s democratically elected leaders. That’s seen some human rights groups criticise the approach, saying it elevates the regime’s status. And Rawan Arraf from the Australian Centre for International Justice says Soe Win is a man our government shouldn’t play ball with because he is “credibly accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Others said it was a smart move given concerns for Turnell. “By using military officers to deliver that message, Australia avoids conferring any legitimacy on the Myanmar armed forces’ coup,” said Aaron Connelly from the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Australian officials have said they’re concerned for Turnell’s safety.
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