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Public Statements

Burma

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BURMA

    Mr. MCCONNELL. Madam President, another day has passed in Burma and the welfare and whereabouts of Aung San Suu Kyi and man of her supporters remain a mystery. The State Peace and Development Council—the rogue government there—claims that she is in a "guest house" in Rangoon and is in good health. If this is the case, the government should immediately allow foreign diplomats to meet with her.

    The world's condemnation of the most recent murders and detentions in Burma has been swift. But words alone will not prevent the junta from assassinating more democracy activists in the days to come or detaining those whose only crime is calling for freedom and justice.

    The lesson of the past few days is that dialogue has failed in Burma. Japan and other countries that advocate engagement with the SPDC as a means of political change have nothing to show for their efforts but the spilt blood of democrats and the re-arrest of Burma's greatest hope for freedom.

    Foreign governments must join in a full court press to determine the health and well-being of Suu Kyi and others arrested over the weekend. Elected representatives in this body and the world's democracies must come together and forge a response to the vicious assault on freedom that continues in Burma. Our collective failure to do so will abandon the people of Burma in time of their greatest need.

    Burma's regional neighbors—Japan, China, Thailand, and the Philippines, in particular—must understand the threats that a repressive Burma will continue to pose the region. Among the junta's greatest exports are drugs and HIV/AIDS—scourges that know no borders or boundaries. With terrorist threats in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the junta will continue to pose chronic problems to countries trying to close their borders to the trafficking of weapons, people, and contraband.

    In conclusion, it is past time to hold the SPDC accountable for the many injustices it has inflicted upon the people of Burma. It is time for regime change in Burma.

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