McConnell Condemns Burma Executions and Calls for Action
‘The people of Burma are risking their lives, and in some cases losing their lives, to defend their freedom. The Biden Administration claims to prioritize democracy and human rights in its foreign policy. Here is an opportunity to demonstrate that it means what it says.’
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, Burma’s long and difficult struggle toward democracy and freedom took another dark step backwards.
“The brutal military junta controlling Burma executed four political prisoners, including the well-known activist Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former elected official and protest musician. Yet more innocent blood shed for the crime of dissenting against the junta’s illegitimate rule.
“This is yet another atrocity in a long list of horrors committed by a junta with no legitimacy, no regard for the sanctity of human life, and no respect for its fellow citizens.
“It provides even further evidence the junta does not fear any consequences for its actions — not from internal chaos, not from civil war, not from its neighbors, not from the so-called international community.
“The United States has led efforts to support Burma’s people, and to impose costs and consequences on the junta. Clearly it is time for Burma’s neighbors to shoulder a larger burden as well. It is time for ASEAN states to step up, individually and collectively.
“As the junta plunges Burma deeper into chaos and civil war, the turmoil will affect the entire region.
“It is Burma’s neighbors who have the most economic influence over the junta, and it is Burma’s neighbors who have the most at stake.
“Do they want a failed state wracked by civil war like Syria on their borders?
“Do they want a Russian or Chinese-backed client state in their midst?
“If they will not step up and impose meaningful costs on the junta, the Biden Administration should use authorities already given to it by the Congress to sanction Burma’s energy sector, including Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, notwithstanding the concerns of those neighbors.
“The people of Burma are risking their lives, and in some cases losing their lives, to defend their freedom. The Biden Administration claims to prioritize democracy and human rights in its foreign policy. Here is an opportunity to demonstrate that it means what it says.
“So in sum: it is time for Burma’s neighbors to act.
“If they do not, the Biden Administration should sanction Burma’s energy sector and other major sources of revenue for the junta.”