The Government should back up its tough words against the Myanmar regime and stop any of its officials receiving training in New Zealand, Green MP Kennedy Graham said yesterday.
A Myanmar court found democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty yesterday of violating her house arrest by allowing an uninvited American to stay at her home. She was ordered to serve out an 18-month sentence under house arrest.
The Government has called on Myanmar's rulers to release Suu Kyi immediately and take steps to restore democracy.Dr Graham said New Zealand continued to trade with Myanmar and also train Myanmar officials.
“Government officials from Myanmar have been sponsored through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to come to New Zealand and brush up their English language skills at our polytechnics,” Dr Graham said.Foreign Minister Murray McCully's spokesman said the Burmese studying in New Zealand were not stooges of the regime, but junior bureaucrats.Bringing them to New Zealand exposed them to an open, democratic Government.”The Government already had in place travel sanctions against the junta and its henchmen,” the spokesman said.Article continues belowThere were currently no Burmese officials studying in New Zealand, he said.