U.S. Members of Congress Condemn the Burmese Regime’s Undemocratic Upcoming Elections on November 7, 2010 (click to view PDF)

September 30, 2010
Washington, DC
Media Contact: Jennifer Quigley at (202) 234 8022

(House Resolution H. Res. 1677 is Attached Below)

(Washington, DC) A bipartisan group of Members of the House of Representatives, led by Mr. Donald Manzullo (R-IL), yesterday introduced a Resolution,  condemning the Burmese military regime’s undemocratic upcoming elections on November 7, 2010. The resolution is called H.Res. 1677 (attached), and co-sponsored by ten Representatives, including Mr. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs respectively. The draft Resolution denounces the regime’s election as “the one-sided, undemocratic and illegitimate actions of the State Peace and Development Council (official name of the regime) that seeks to legitimize military rule through a flawed election process”.

The United States Campaign for Burma, a leading coalition of Burmese activists in exile and American human rights campaigners working to promote freedom, justice and democracy in Burma, welcomes and supports the Resolution. Aung Din, former political prisoner and Executive Director of USCB said that “this is a timely and necessary action on the part of the U.S. Congress to warn the U.S. Administration not to wait and see, but to take effective action without further delay to stop the regime’s plan to build a permanent military dictatorship in Burma, with the help of China, India, and North Korea.”

Among other things, the Resolution denounces the regime’s dissolution of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, and “insists that no government in Burma can be considered democratic or legitimate without the participation of Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD, and ethnic nationalities and the full restoration of democracy, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and internationally recognized human rights for all Burmese citizens.”

U Win Tin, senior leader of the NLD today wrote in the International Herald Tribune that “if the international community seriously exercises strong and effective pressure on the regime, the combination of pressure from outside and peaceful resistance inside the country will force the regime to come to the dialogue table”. U Win Tin also urged the international community to “abandon their dream of expecting something impossible from the election, and start taking serious action against the regime with the aim of starting a dialogue, beginning with by creating a U.N. Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Burma.” (An Election Not Worthy of Support, by Win Tin, International Herald Tribune, Published: September 30, 2010)

Echoing the demand made by democracy forces inside Burma, the House Resolution calls for the Obama Administration “to support a credible and robust international inquiry to investigate the Burmese regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, and system of impunity, to not support or recognize the military regime’s elections as legitimate, to fully implement the Tom Lantos Block Burma Jade Act of 2008 by nominating the Special Representative and Policy Coordinator on Burma and by imposing the required financial sanctions.”

Click here to view House Resolution 1677.