Public Hearing on Myanmar - 13 April 2021

Issue date: Friday, 26 March 2021

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The military coup in Myanmar, and the escalating violence and rising death toll, are of growing concern to Australia.

As a longstanding supporter of Myanmar’s democratic transition, recent developments are deeply troubling, both for Myanmar’s people and for the region more broadly.

The Foreign Affairs and Aid Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade intends to hold a public hearing on Tuesday 13 April in Canberra to examine recent developments in Myanmar in greater depth, and to hear from concerned sectors of Australian society about the troubling direction Myanmar has taken in recent weeks.

“The evolving situation in Myanmar is of acute concern to a large number of Australians,” according to chair of the subcommittee Dave Sharma MP.

“The pathway ahead remains fluid and uncertain, and we are keen to hear from experts and community organisations in Australia about how Australia can support a return to democratic rule in Myanmar as soon as possible, and the protection of fundamental human rights.”

Deputy Chair Julian Hill MP said “The situation is heartbreaking. Over 250 people have died in the escalating violence, and Australia must also provide support to diaspora communities living here who are desperately worried about family and friends. 

“Australia needs to work with likeminded countries in our region to send a strong message that the violence must stop, and democracy must be returned quickly. The subcommittee’s inquiry and focus on Myanmar is a fully bipartisan endeavour.”

The subcommittee looks forward to hearing evidence from government departments, diaspora groups, thinktanks and human rights organisations on these issues.

For further information (Natalie Hissey, Mr Sharma’s office 02 9327 3988); for administration, contact the secretariat 02 6277 2313 (email

Arrangements for the hearing:

People who want to participate in the hearing are asked to get in touch as soon as possible before 6 April. A short email (up to 150 words) is the best method, describing your interest or views on any of the below points.

  1. Why did the military coup in Myanmar occur?
  2. How long is military rule in Myanmar likely to last?
  3. What have been the regional reactions to the coup in Myanmar?
  4. What are the implications for Australians in Myanmar?
  5. What are the implications for Australians doing business in Myanmar?
  6. What is the impact on bilateral cooperation, such as military, human rights and international development support?\
  7. What can or should Australia do to support the return to stability and democracy?

The Committee will review the expressions of interest, and prepare a program which can best accommodate all views in the limited time available. The final program will include more details including start and finish times for the hearing.

More detailed written submissions responses to the questions or longer submissions are also welcome, but detailed responses are not needed in order to join the discussions.

One hearing is planned so far, although there may be opportunities for future engagement.

The hearing will be broadcast live, and a transcript will be published afterwards. If you want your involvement to be confidential, please let us know, and we will do our best to make sure your views can be included.

Arrangements can be made for limited numbers to join the meeting in person (COVID-restrictions apply in Parliament House), or by teleconference.

More details on arrangements for the hearing will continue to be available from the Committee’s website when they are finalised.

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