Text of Expressing the sense of the Congress in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the free and fair elections in Burma ...
...elections in Burma and the urgent need to improve the democratic and human rights of the people of Burma.
The text of the bill below is as of Oct 10, 2000 (Passed the House (Engrossed)).
HCON 328 EH
H. CON. RES. 328
Whereas in 1988 thousands of Burmese citizens called for a democratic change in Burma and participated in peaceful demonstrations to achieve this result;
Whereas these demonstrations were brutally repressed by the Burmese military, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives;
Whereas despite continued repression, the Burmese people turned out in record numbers to vote in elections deemed free and fair by international observers;
Whereas on May 27, 1990, the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won more than 60 percent of the popular vote and 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in the elections;
Whereas the Burmese military rejected the results of the elections, placed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of members of the NLD under arrest, pressured members of the NLD to resign, and severely restricted freedom of assembly, speech, and the press;
Whereas 48,000,000 people in Burma continue to suffer gross violations of human rights, including the right to democracy, and economic deprivation under a military regime known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC);
Whereas on September 16, 1998, the members of the NLD and other political parties who won the 1990 elections joined together to form the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP) as an interim mechanism to address human rights, economic and other conditions, and provide representation of the political views and voice of Members of Parliament elected to but denied office in 1990;
Whereas the United Nations General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights have condemned in nine consecutive resolutions the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities and the political opposition, and SPDC’s record of forced labor, exploitation, and sexual violence against women;
Whereas the United States and the European Union Council of Foreign Ministers have similarly condemned conditions in Burma and officially imposed travel restrictions and other sanctions against the SPDC;
Whereas in May 1999, the International Labor Organization (ILO) condemned the SPDC for inflicting forced labor on the people and has banned the SPDC from participating in any ILO meetings;
Whereas the 1999 Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for Burma estimates more than 1,300 people continue to suffer inhumane detention conditions as political prisoners in Burma;
Whereas the Department of State International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2000 determines that Burma is the second largest world-wide source of illicit opium and heroin and that there are continuing, reliable reports that Burmese officials are ‘involved in the drug business or are paid to allow the drug business to be conducted by others’, conditions which pose a direct threat to United States national security interests;
Whereas Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been denied the basic rights to freedom of movement and assemble with members of the NLD by Burmese security authorities who, on August 24, 2000, forcibly blocked her and her party from traveling to NLD township offices near Rangoon;
Whereas after having been halted for nine days at a roadblock, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party were forcibly returned to Rangoon by Burmese security authorities;
Whereas since their forcible return to Rangoon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders have been held incommunicado in their residences and diplomats and others have been denied access to them;
Whereas the refusal to allow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to leave her compound or to allow others access to her has created grave concern for her safety and welfare;
Whereas the NLD party offices have been ransacked and documents seized by Burmese authorities and access to the party headquarters has been denied to NLD members;
Whereas the Burmese authorities have continued to refuse to engage in a substantive dialogue with the NLD and other elements of the democratic opposition; and
Whereas despite these massive violations of human rights and civil liberties and chronic economic deprivation, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the NLD have continued to call for a peaceful political dialogue with the SPDC to achieve a democratic transition: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that--
(1) United States policy should strongly support the restoration of democracy in Burma, including implementation of the results of the free and fair elections of 1990;
(2) United States policy should continue to call upon the military regime in Burma known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)--
(A) to guarantee freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press for all Burmese citizens;
(B) to immediately accept a political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD), and ethnic leaders to advance peace and reconciliation in Burma;
(C) to immediately and unconditionally release all detained Members elected to the 1990 parliament and other political prisoners; and
(D) to promptly and fully uphold the terms and conditions of all human rights and related resolutions passed by the United Nations General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights, the International Labor Organization, and the European Union; and
(3) United States policy should sustain current economic and political sanctions against Burma as the appropriate means--
(A) to secure the restoration of democracy, human rights, and civil liberties in Burma; and
(B) to support United States national security counternarcotics interests.
Passed the House of Representatives October 10, 2000.