United to End Genocide has learned that the Obama Administration is likely to lift the investment ban on Burma this week. We agree that the United States should reward political reform in Burma but the when and the how are extremely important. This rush to reward the Burmese government is happening too soon!
We need to act now to tell Assistant Secretary Campbell at the State Department to slow down the lifting of the investment ban. Can you call his office today at 202-647-9596 and make the following points:
- If the United States rushes in it will lose all its leverage. It needs to move carefully and gradually, with benchmarks and conditions, in order to maintain our leadership on protection of human rights.
- People’s lives are still in danger in Burma. The military has not ceased attacks on civilians in Kachin or other ethnic nationality states. (In fact, we received reports just last week that the Burmese military has moved 2,000 troops to the town of Laiza in Kachin State, which is home to thousands of displaced people, sparking fears that a major assault is imminent.) We can’t reward the Burmese government while these attacks are escalating .
- It’s too soon to tell how real the reforms are and they certainly aren’t reaching any of the people in the ethnic areas.
- The State Department needs to take more time, and consult with the ethnic nationality leaders, before making an irreversible move to allow U.S. investment into Burma.
You can leave a phone message for Assistant Secretary Campbell at the State Department at 202-647-9596. Please call today and let him know that we will continue to sound the alarm about ongoing violence in Burma.