Commend administration’s initial response and commit Senate cooperation in support of human rights, targeted sanctions, and international coordination
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee, Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today urged the Biden Administration to take several key steps in its effort to help preserve Burma’s fragile democratic transition after last week’s military coup against the democratically-elected, civilian-led government of Burma, also known as Myanmar.
On February 1, 2021, the Burmese armed forces, also known as Tatmadaw, overturned the results of Burma’s November 2020 elections. They seized power in a military coup and detained the country’s democratically elected leaders, including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Previously, multiple international bodies, as well as investigators associated with the U.S. Department of State, have determined that there is evidence that the military-led abuses against the Rohingya people in Burma constitute crimes against humanity and genocide.
In their letter sent today, the senators outline key steps for the Biden Administration to take in its efforts related to Burma:
“Given the Tatmadaw’s long history of human rights violations and suppression of democracy, there is no reason to believe Burma’s military leaders will return the country to democratic rule without strong and sustained international pressure,” write the senators in their letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We thank you for your leadership on this matter and stand ready to work with you to respond to this grave turn of events in Burma.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.
Also signing the letter are Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).