An open letter to the U.S. Congress


1,466 so far! Let’s get to 2,000 signers!

As a concerned resident of the United States, I am writing to bring your attention to what is happening in Myanmar. On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military staged a coup against the elected civilian government led by the National League of Democracy. I am deeply appalled by this abuse of power by the military. This coup is a major setback for peace and stability in the region. On January 6th in this nation, we saw a similar attempt to subvert our own democracy. The current events in Myanmar is a reflection of what could have been if the insurrection was not halted. There have been baseless claims of election fraud in both countries. These parallels are not coincidental and allowing such an attack on democracy to go unchecked can embolden like-minded individuals to take similar actions here. A threat to democracy anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere. In addition to the coup, the military 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. 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 2021, the United States has provided nearly $1.5 billion to support Myanmar’s democratic transition and economic transformation, advance the peace process, and improve the lives of millions. This progress stands to be undone with the atrocities committed by the military. I am urging the United States government to take the following actions: Pressure the military to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law and release those being detained Support Myanmar civilians’ nationwide efforts in peacefully mobilizing and withdrawing labor and power from the military Pressure the UN Security Council to follow the ICC recommendations and prosecute top Myanmar military officials for their crimes against humanity Impose strict, targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military and its extensive business interests, including on their family members and those family members’ extensive business interests Negotiate clear and strong incentives, i.e. favorable funding and trade terms, in exchange for compliance It is clear from the past, however, that sanctions alone are not enough. The four leading military members that lead the coup were already subject to various international sanctions. A smart, multilateral response is what is required most — one that targets the military’s sources of power as well as assists Myanmar civilian efforts in overturning the coup. The United States has always been a leader in upholding the values of democracy around the world. I hope that you will do the same concerning Myanmar today. Thank you.

First sent on February 4 by International Support for Myanmar Democracy · 3 signers in the past 24 hours

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