(Washington, D.C.) United to End Genocide, an advocacy group dedicated to ending genocide and mass atrocities, today called for an immediate recalculation in U.S. policy toward Burma as President Obama heads to Burma.
Former Congressman Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide issued the following statement:
“On the eve of his trip to Burma, President Obama must recognize that, however well intended, his administration miscalculated when it lifted most sources of economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime two years ago. It was precisely this type of pressure that led to reforms that the world celebrated two years ago, including the release of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and her election to the Parliament.”
“The slowing and outright reversal of reforms in Burma is striking. It is clear that once economic and diplomatic pressure was lifted, reforms stalled. Now pressure is needed again.”
“The constitution still bans Aung San Suu Kyi from running for President. Political prisoners continue to be arrested. Attacks on the press are on the increase, as highlighted by the recent killing of a prominent journalist while in military detention.”
“But most serious are the warning signs of genocide in Burma, including attacks against the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority. They continue to suffer vicious assaults and systematic abuse by Burma’s government. Fleeing violence, over 140,000 Rohingya live in what many describe as ‘concentration camps.’ President Thein Sein has declared that “there are no Rohingya among the races [in Burma]” and has pressured foreign officials, including Secretary of State Kerry, not even to use the word “Rohingya”.
“Because of these attacks, and those against other minority groups in Burma, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Early Warning project has named Burma as the #1 country at risk of state-led mass killing.”
“The last two years of backsliding and broken promises in Burma have made it clear that it’s time for a pivot in U.S.-Burma relations. Pressure on their government is the only way to guarantee the reforms needed to protect those under attack and continue the needed steps for political reform.”
United to End Genocide recently launched a public campaign urging President Obama to “Just Say Their Name – Rohingya”. The #JustSayTheirName campaign features a petition and Instagram images urging President Obama to “Say Rohingya” and demand protection of the Rohingya during his November visit to Burma. For more information please go to: http://JustSayTheirName.org.
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United to End Genocide is the largest activist organization in America supported by hundreds of thousands of community activists, faith leaders, students, artists, investors and genocide survivors dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. For more information visit endgenocide.org