Diverse Protests in Burma a “Powerful Display of Courage”
‘I’ve been encouraged over the past week by the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the administration to demonstrate the United States’ condemnation of the military’s flagrant assault on political rights. Today, it’s time to follow up with meaningful costs on those who aid and abet the suffocation of Burmese democracy.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Burma:
“Over the weekend hundreds of thousands of protestors stood up across Burma in defiance of the military coup.
“For a week now, the military has detained hundreds of civil society leaders and democratically elected officials -- some on mysterious or obviously specious charges, and others without charge at all.
“Their actions were illegitimate from the start.
“And their treatment of these political prisoners is showing the world of the military regime’s disdain for the rule of law.
“In the face of this tyranny, and with the memory of how brutally the military has dealt with protestors in the past, the public unity of so many of Burma’s people is a powerful display of courage.
“In far-flung cities and towns, members of the country’s diverse ethnic groups -- from the Burman majority to the Shan and Rohingya minorities -- have rallied around the democratically-elected government. They are demanding justice and an end to military rule.
“I’ve been encouraged over the past week by the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the administration to demonstrate the United States’ condemnation of the military’s flagrant assault on political rights. Today, it’s time to follow up with meaningful costs on those who aid and abet the suffocation of Burmese democracy.
“The people of Burma in the streets today are putting their lives on the line. As one protestor told the New York Times over the weekend, quote, ‘I don’t care if they shoot because under the military, our lives will be dead anyway.’
“Today, these protestors are joining in the same refrain heard repeatedly in places like Hong Kong, where democratic progress is too often met with jackboots.
“They are standing up for basic freedoms.
“And they are paying close attention to who will stand with them.”
Related Issues: Burma