Burma’s Elections Offer U.S. Opportunity to Change Course

U.S. Must Address Repressive Conditions in Burma – Change U.S. Policy

Burma's national elections, now just weeks away, provide an important moment to examine U.S. policy and relations with Burma. While Burma's reforms of five years ago were historic since U.S.-led pressure was lifted progress has not only slowed, it has been reversed in many areas, making it the #1 country in the world at the risk for genocide and mass atrocities.

Testifying today before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee Hearing: Burma’s Challenge: Democracy, Human Rights, Peace, and the Plight of the Rohingya, Former Congressman and President of United to End Genocide, Tom Andrews said,

"The November 8, 2015 elections have no chance of being free, fair, credible, inclusive, or transparent.

Hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims who voted in the last elections will not be allowed to vote simply because of their ethnic and religious identity. Growing hate speech campaigns by radical Buddhists and newly passed laws discriminating against the Rohingya increase the risk of mass atrocities.

Whatever happens on the day of balloting, the fact that so many citizens or Burma are being systematically excluded and disenfranchised from voting – based on their ethnicity and religion – means that this election is not fair.

The U.S. government knows all of this. It has spoken out against the disenfranchisement, the hate speech campaigns, and the discrimination against the Rohingya. What is missing is action.

The elections provide an opportunity for the United States and the international community to put a spotlight on conditions in Burma. Burma's leaders seek international legitimacy and care what the world says about the elections. It is critical that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress be willing to speak the truth about conditions in Burma and act accordingly. Actions should include the imposition of sanctions against those individuals who are behind the egregious human rights violations that continue unabated in Burma."

Read the full testimony.

  • eusebio manuel

    Human rights belong to all human

  • Maria Celia Hernandez

    The importance of voting is to move the country and people to better economy ,better protection .building and re building the cities . creating new ways to support all in order to move forward. There are many issues that need to be addressed .Which those issues if taken in reconsideration and been acted upon it can help cities ,communities ,and people situations get the assistance the tools the support to better any problems and help people move on to better things that can bring better economy, communications between people ,government and what is necessary to better the lives today and the future of all that is so important to all. Not just the government but to move all forward.. Voting is a way to chose the right responsible person to take the wheel for that city ,state, country and Nation. All learning about the candidates and choosing to vote by their own decision ; Not by those candidate that want people to vote for them just for voting for their party. ,But responsibly voting because it is for the benefit of the people the city the government and the nation growth ,stability and economically moving progressing reasonably and responsibly., Progressing responsibly is the way to a Better world a better fruitful nation and the liberty of the young to be prepare for their own future and the future of their own children and the country,who gave them the chance to succeed in life for the sake of their own interest progress and future .No representative candidate should treat this as a thread because people won’t vote for them but give thanks that people really mean well and respect it. for their communities when they do choose the right person to lead their communities , and government…