Saturday, June 09, 2012

US Campaign for Burma

 Email Your Congress(wo)man For Burma 

It’s up to you to make sure that Congress makes protecting human rights—not satisfying corporate greed—their main priority in Burma. Tell your Congress(wo)man to support the renewal of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act - H.J.RES 109 (BFDA) today

As we speak, Burma’s military is committing heinous human rights abuses against Burma’s ethnic civilians, particularly the Kachin. Burma’s regime still refuses to admit there are hundreds of political prisoners behind bars. More and more farmers are forced off their land to make way for foreign investmentSome farmers have been arrested for refusing to leave their land. We must send a strong signal that real reform respects rights, not profits. The import ban in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act is the last piece of leverage the U.S. has to push the Burmese Army to stop attacking civilians and pursue irreversible reforms. 

Please take a minute to send an email to your Congress(wo)man today to renew Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act (H.J.RES 109) before it expires this summer. 

In 2003 Congress passed landmark legislation, the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, which has stopped hundreds of millions of dollars from entering the pockets of the military junta and its cronies. Every year this important legislation must be renewed before it expires, each summer strong grassroots pressure from Americans is what keeps these sanctions firmly in place.WITHOUT YOUR HELP WE WILL NOT SUCCEED. The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act is the only leverage the U.S has left to push the Burmese regime to move forward with positive changes and hold them accountable for widespread human rights abuses and mass atrocities they commit against the people of Burma.

Despite all the changes that have taken place in central Burma, there is little or no change in the ethnic nationality areas, especially in Shan and Kachin areas where severe fighting is ongoing between the Burmese army and ethnic armed groups. This year alone, there have been at least 750 human rights abuses incidents committed by the Burmese troops against ethnic minority civilians. While current peace talks between ethnic armed groups and the civilian arm of Burma’s regime is ongoing; the military continues to carry out atrocities and build up their presence in resource rich ethnic areas. 

In addition to the most egregious human rights abuses in conflict zones, throughout the country the regime carries out forced labor, forced relocation, extortion, land confiscation and burning of civilians’ crops and farms, some of it in the name of making way for foreign investment. 

Aung San Suu Kyi recently encouraged caution about being too optimistic about change in Burma, and left it up to the American people to decide about sanctions. 

Show your solidarity and support for the people of Burma. Email your Congress(wo)man today and let them know that sanctions are key in continuing to keep the pressure on the regime in Burma if we want to see an end to human rights abuses and genuine democratic change in the country. 

In solidarity,

Myra and USCB team
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