An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Condemn the Coup & Pressure Burma Military to End Attacks in Karen State

27,710 so far! Let’s get to 50,000 signers!

As a concerned citizen of the United States, I am writing to bring your attention to what is happening in Burma. On February 1, 2021, Tatmadaw (the Burma Military) staged a new coup against the democratically elected civilian government led by National League for Democracy. I am deeply appalled by this abuse of power by the Tatmadaw. This coup is a major setback for peace and stability in the region. Prior to the coup, in December 2020, Tamadaw has been deliberately firing artillery shells into Karen villages and restricting humanitarian aid in violation of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed by the government and the Karen National Union. The attacks against civilians are taking place in Mutraw (Papun) and Kler Lwe Htoo (Nyaungle bin) districts of northern Karen State, resulting in the death of a village chief and displacement of over 7000 Karen civilians. This indiscriminate targeting of civilians and the obstruction of humanitarian assistance are war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore in 2018, a U.N. Fact-Finding-Mission (FFM) concluded that Myanmar’s top military generals should be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya in Rakhine State as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states. Since 2012, the United States has provided nearly $1.5 billion to support Burma’s democratic transition and economic transformation, advance the peace process, and improve the lives of millions, including by assisting communities affected by violence and through combating hate speech and communal violence (U.S Relations With Burma, 2020). On January 13, 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided Myanmar about US $700 million to address COVID-19 pandemic. This progress achieved with help from the US stands to be undone with the atrocities committed by the Tatmadaw. In order to end this military coup and violations of the NCA, I am urging the United States government to take the following actions: * Urge the military to immediately cease these attacks and withdraw their troops from conflict areas in Karen State, so that inclusive peace negotiations can begin * Pressure the military to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law and release those being detained. * Restore the Jade act, which imposes tough sanctions on the Myanmar military and its extensive business interests * Pressure the UN Security Council to follow the ICC recommendations and prosecute top Burmese military officials for their crimes against humanity. * Must put comprehensive and restricted controls of the IMF Covid-19 Economic Recovery Funds to not get into the military to spend on weapons or put in their pockets. The United States has always been a leader in upholding democratic values around the world. Time is of the essence and taking swift action will send a strong message that the horrific misconduct by the Tatmadaw will not be accepted by the global community. Thank you for your time.

First sent on February 4 by Karen Civilians Resist · 3 signers in the past 24 hours

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