Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
For more up-to-date action on the Burma Bill, see Students for Free Burma.
UPDATE: THE PROTECT DEMOCRACY IN BURMA ACT (H.R.1112 — 117th Congress 2021-2022)) has passed the House of Representatives, was received and read in the Senate, and has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as of March 22, 2021
Text of the Protect Democracy in Burma Act [link] https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1112/text
SEC. 4. POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES REGARDING BURMA’S DEMOCRACY.
It is the policy of the United States to—
(1) condemn the military coup in Burma, to urge the unconditional release of detained democratically-elected leaders and civil society members, and to support a return to Burma’s democratic transition;
(2) instruct, as appropriate, representatives of the United States Government to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the United Nations to hold accountable those responsible for the military coup in Burma; and
(3) engage with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN member states to promote a return to Burma’s democratic transition and democratic values throughout Southeast Asia, and support the centrality of ASEAN within the regional architecture of the Indo-Pacific.
My understanding is that the Bill is under the aegis of the Subcommittee On East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy. That Subcommittee handles all matters concerning U.S. relations with the countries of East Asia and the Pacific as well as regional intergovernmental organizations like ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts is the Chair of that Subcommittee. Sen. Mitt Romney is the Ranking Republican member. I have already sent a letter to Sen. Ed Markey. I will revise the letter to inquire about the Protect Democracy in Burma Bill and its progress.
The UN is set to reconvene on the situation in Myanmar in early September, by the Credentials Committee and the UN Security Council, to recognize an official government in Maynmar, which should be the democratically-elected National Unity Government.
The following is a letter I composed to alert my Representatives and Senators in Congress to immediately intervene and provide assistance to the people of Myanmar. I have revised my letter to focus on the Protect Democracy in Burma Act. Please use the letter as a guide to write your own letter to your own Congresspersons. This is a personal letter, not a mass email campaign.
If you have the time, please also follow up with a phone call to your Congressperson. They get thousands of emails a day and they assume most of them are computer-generated. A follow-up phone call lets them know that you sent it personally. If you are able, please let us know the results of your contacts in the comments section.
Thanks for your help, Shaun, Editor, Engage!
July 26, 2021
RE: Myanmar and Southeast Asia
Since the military coup of February 1, the COVID and political situation in Myanmar has become catastrophic. I’m writing to ask for your immediate help with the situation in Myanmar.
The Protect Democracy in Burma Act of 2021 is before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and should be passed immediately, and followed up with action in the UN and the US Embassy in Myanmar.
As a nation, we must intervene to provide compassionat assistance to the people of Myanmar. COVID is spreading like wildfire across the country. What’s worse is the the military junta, the Tatmadaw, which deposed the democratically elected government in February, has taken control of the hospitals, arrested doctors and nurses, and is refusing to allow sick people to be treated in the hospitals without their permisison. The junta has taken control of all medical supplies, including oxygen. People are dying because they don’t have oxygen, and they are not vaccinating people on a mass scale as they did before the Coup.
People are getting sick by the hundreds of thousands and needlessly dying because they don’t have medical care, protective equipment, oxygen or vaccines. The people of Myanmar are warning us that the situation in Myanmar is a greater threat to the region, and even to the world.
THE NEXT DEADLY COVID VARIANT WILL COME FROM MYANMAR IF WE DON’T INTERVENE AND STOP THE SPREAD. This is a global threat.
We must also stop all global sales of military weapons to the Tatmadaw. China and Russia are both supplying military weapons, planes and vehicles to the Tatmadaw. We must intervene, with the United Nations, to stop the Tatmadaw from terrorizing and killing the people of Myanmar. They have arrested, raped, beaten, tortured, shot, killed thousands of people, burned whole villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
We as a nation must, with the United Nations, put an end to the military coup and return the National Unity Governmnet, to its lawful place as the democratically elected government of Mayanmar.
I beg you, please meet with your fellow Congresspeople and Senators as soon as possible and devise a plan to help the people of Mynamar.