Bipartisan Senators condemn repression in Burma on the 20th anniversary of its last election

May 28th, 2010 - 3:32 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) – A bipartisan group of Senators condemned the continuing repression in Burma on Thursday, marking the country’s 20th anniversary of its last election.

The group, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Senators Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Judd Gregg, John McCain, and Sam Brownback, emphasizing that despite the victory of the country’s major opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi 20 years ago, “the ruling military junta refused to surrender power and instead launched a campaign of repression that continues to this day.”

“On the twentieth anniversary of this election, we reaffirm our conviction that the people of Burma deserve the freedom to choose their future for themselves. We condemn the continuing dictatorship imposed by the junta and call on its ruling generals to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, and to begin a genuine political dialogue with opposition and ethnic groups and leaders, including with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

The Senators also condemned the recently adopted election laws that, “perpetuate its rule and weaken the opposition. These election law – which required the NLD to expel its imprisoned members in order to register – confirm that the vote that the junta has promised later this year represents yet another mockery of the democratic process in Burma.”

“Rather than accept the junta’s outrageous election laws, the NLD is now forced into dissolution. While we recognize that this was a painful decision for the NLD’s leaders, we applaud and honor their courage in upholding the principles that have guided their efforts since the party’s founding. While the NLD may have lost its legal status in Burma, it has not lost its legitimacy in the eyes of millions in Burma and around the world. Indeed, that is a power far beyond the reach of the junta,” they added.

The group continued by urging the Obama administration to nominate a Special Representative and Policy Coordinator to Burma, as required by law.

“We remain convinced that the day will come when freedom returns to Burma and the voice of the people of Burma – as expressed on May 27, 1990 – is at last honored. Until that day comes, however, we pledge to stand in solidarity with the people of Burma and support all peaceful efforts to restore democracy there.”

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