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Should the Australian government impose sanctions on Myanmar?



Almost 400 Myanmar civil society organisations wrote to Australia’s Foreign Minister this week, accusing Australia of “shameful inaction”.

The groups are urging the Morrison government to impose sanctions on army generals who staged the February coup.

Christopher Lamb is the President of the Australia Myanmar Institute and a former Australian diplomat who served as Ambassador to Myanmar.

He is calling on the Australian government to impose sanctions on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of Myanmar’s military.

“The hope would be, that by putting sanctions on Min Aung Hlaing, it would bring other people in the senior military ranks to realise that Min Aung Hlaing was not the future for the country or for them,” Mr Lamb told Ticker News.

DFAT says imposing additional sanctions could limit Canberra’s influence.

But Mr Lamb says he hasn’t “seen any evidence at all that we’ve been able to exercise any influence of any value”.

“At a point you need to consider where Australia should be moving, both publicly and privately, to secure its objectives in the region. I’m not satisfied yet that the Australian government has identified clearly enough what those objectives are.”

Australian man Sean Turnell, who worked as an economic adviser to the deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was taken into custody in February.

Mr Lamb believes the military may see him as “someone who can help them as they consolidate their case against Aung San Suu Kyi”.

“It doesn’t surprise me that this military hasn’t released him. I think they want him for reasons unconnected with his potential guilt, and I don’t think he’s got anything to do with the situation that has come about in the country or has led to it.”

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“TikTok represents two national risks to Australians”: should you delete the app?



Democracies continue to ban popular video-sharing app TikTok over national security concerns

Australia recently banned TikTok from all federal government owned devices over security concerns.

Canberra is the latest in a string of U.S.-backed allies to take action against the popular video-sharing app.

The ban centres around concerns China could use the app to trace users’ data, and undermine democratic values.

Senator James Paterson is the Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, who said TikTok poses a risk to Australians.

“They can get access to awful amount of information on your phone.

“Because it’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall into their hands,” he said.

Senator Paterson said there are “six or seven million Australians who use the app.”

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Cyber attacks are on the rise, so what is being done to combat them?



Australia experienced two of its worst cyber attacks on record last year, as the world braces for cyber warfare to rise

Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year.

Viktor Zhora is leading Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection agency, who said cyber attacks are occurring at the same time as missile strikes at the hands of Russia.

Mr Zhora said in some cases, the cyber-attacks are “supportive to kinetic effects”.

On the other side of the planet, Russian hackers were responsible for Australia’s Medibank scandal.

“This is a crime that has the potential to impact on millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business,” said Reece Kershaw, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.

Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security is James Paterson, who said Australia can learn from cyber warfare in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a lesson for the world.

“They are fighting a hybrid war, one on the ground and one online. If there is to be future conflict including in our own region, in the Indo-Pacific, it’s highly likely that the first shots in that war will occur cyber domain not in the physical world,” Senator Paterson said.

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America focused on “dominance, leadership and primacy” in China spat



Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the United States relationship with China is focused on dominance, leadership and primacy.

“Mind your own business” – it’s the stinging message to the West from China’s defence minister.

Li Shangfu told a security conference that China has “one of the best peace records” among major countries.

He lashed out at the so-called rules-based system. Asking – “who made the rules?”

The world is watching China amidst heightened international anxiety.

But while China’s Defence minister says Beijing’s preference is “peaceful unification” with Taiwan, he added that China will never “promise to renounce the use of force.”

Delegates from the Philippines, Vietnam, the Netherlands, the United States and Germany asked about the “apparent disconnect between China’s words and actions”.

But in some of those countries, there is growing concern about America’s increasing level of unpredictability.

Australia’s former Foreign minister Bob Carr is concerned that Canberra had mismanaged the relationship with America under successive governments. #featured #world #china

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