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Approving the Renewal of Import Restrictions Contained in the Burmese Freedom and Deomcracy Act of 2003

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Location: Washington, DC


APPROVING THE RENEWAL OF IMPORT RESTRICTIONS CONTAINED IN THE BURMESE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY ACT OF 2003 -- (House of Representatives - June 21, 2005)

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Mr. PITTS. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I rise in strong support of this resolution. Burma is ruled by a ruthless military regime. I visited the Thai-Burma border a few years ago, and I met with victims of the horrific repression that is occurring there, the IDPs, former political prisoners, democracy activists, women who have been raped, landmine victims, orphans, and widows. The SPDC uses rape has a weapon of terror. They engage in ethnic cleansing, wiping out whole villages and towns, killing women, men, and children. They seek to eliminate the ethnic minorities in the tribal areas such as Karen and Karenni.

Many believe that we need to reverse our course on sanctions in order to help the Burmese people. They are wrong. The Burmese economy is so rotted under this corrupt regime that trade does not help the people. It is like pouring money into a pocket with a hole in it. The road to change in Burma is not trade, it is political reform.

The SPDC must release Aung San Suu Kyi, the duly elected leader. ASEAN must take a clear stand against the Burmese leadership and deny it from leadership and chairing ASEAN. And the U.S. must do a better job of organizing support at the U.N. Security Council for a comprehensive resolution calling for national transition and reconciliation. Sanctions are absolutely necessary. I urge passage of this resolution.

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