The members of the Senate Women's Caucus on Burma today renewed calls for the Burmese military junta, the State Peace and Development Council, to immediately release imprisoned democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as all other political prisoners, on her birthday (June 19).
The bipartisan Caucus is co-chaired by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). The Caucus also includes Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Following is a joint statement from the Senate Women's Caucus on Burma:
"As members of the U.S. Senate Women's Caucus on Burma, we extend our birthday wishes to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on the occasion of her 65th birthday. We regret that, once again, Suu Kyi will mark this day alone and under house arrest -- as she has for most of the past 19 years.
We look forward to the day when we can celebrate this occasion with Suu Kyi in person in a free and democratic Burma.
Suu Kyi's message of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law continues to inspire not only her fellow citizens but the people of the world with her courage and resolve in the face of constant oppression.
For the past two decades, Burma's despotic military rulers have engaged in a campaign of persecution against Aung San Suu Kyi -- tarnishing her image, unjustly convicting her of violating an illegitimate house arrest last year, and extending her unlawful detention. Yet Aung San Suu Kyi remains resolute in her dedication to the pursuit of peaceful national reconciliation -- as do the members of her political party, the National League for Democracy.
In March of this year, after Burma's junta announced election laws that would bar Aung San Suu Kyi and all of Burma's political prisoners from participating in the regime's one-sided election process, her party proudly stood by her and refused to legitimize the military regime's undemocratic constitution and election process.
For too long, the people of Burma have suffered indignity, discrimination and cruelty at the hands of the military junta. Their dream of a truly democratic and free Burma continues to be ignored and undermined by Burma's military regime. We deplore the regime's failure to create a roadmap to true democracy that allows all of Burma's people to participate in a free and fair manner.
We renew our call to the regime to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally. It's time for a true dialogue on national reconciliation and restoration of representative government.
On this day, we renew our solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma. Your cause is our cause."