An Australian Defence Force spokesperson was quoted as saying that “limited engagement with Myanmar is to encourage positive change through engagement”, and added “the maintenance of lines of communication with Myanmar’s military provides a mechanism as required to influence behaviour and address the challenging situation in Rakhine State”.
What total and absolute hogwash and public relations whitewash.
The reality is that the atrocities are not the actions of renegade elements of Myanmar’s army, but a deliberate attempt at total “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya, whom Myanmar’s Buddhists regard as lower than vermin. It is directed by the top echelons of the tatmadaw, which will interpret Australia’s continuing support as bestowing legitimacy and validity on their actions.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Southeast Asia correspondent, Lindsay Murdoch, doesn’t buy it either and in an article published this week, says: “Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable if we are not to lose faith in humanity. ... Without being held to account, they [Myanmar’s generals] will be free to continue their barbaric treatment of Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in the country.”
I served 20 years in the Australian Defence Force. Thank God I am no longer serving and part of such disgraceful behaviour. And shame, shame on the Australian government for its milksop approach to the greatest humanitarian crisis of the 21st century.