Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), a leader on Burma in the U.S. House of Representatives, issued the following statement on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Burma this week:
"This visit is a significant move to test the waters to see if the Burmese authorities are serious about genuine change -- and that change must start with concrete action that includes an immediate end to human rights abuses. I hope Secretary Clinton's trip and our continued efforts to keep the international community focused on the fight for democracy in Burma will propel the Burmese military to put an immediate end to the brutal attacks against ethnic minorities and unjustified imprisonment of political leaders, and establish full-scale, irreversible democratic reform."
Rep. Crowley recently led the renewal of economic sanctions on Burma in the Block Burmese JADE Act as well as successfully spearheaded legislation awarding Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal. Crowley has also worked to protect Burmese refugees who have fled to refugee camps in Thailand, India and Bangladesh.
Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and is a chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.