Open letter: United States Congress must pass BURMA Act 2021

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Open letter from 58 diaspora organizations in the United States, endorsed by 87 Civil Societies inside Burma and across the globe, urging United States Congress to swiftly pass the BURMA Act of 2021.

To: Members of the U.S. Congress :

Subject: Pass the B.U.R.M.A. Act, Open Letter Signed by the Diaspora of Burma in America and Endorsed by the CSOs and CBOs inside Burma and Global Solidarity Organization to the United State Congress to Pass the Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability (BURMA) Act of 2021

Dear United States Representatives and Senators,

We, the diaspora with our roots from all various regions of Burma residing in the United States, with the endorsement by civil society organizations and community-based organizations inside Burma and global solidarity organizations, write to express our support for the BURMA Act and request its expedited passage into law. Since October 6th, 2021, when 242 Burmese diaspora, local CSOs inside Burma, community-based organizations, and civil society organizations signed an open letter to the United States Congress to support the BURMA Act of 2021, the situation on the ground has only worsened.

As of March 26th, 2022, the military junta had killed 1,707 civilians and arbitrarily arrested 12,970 people according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners AAPP (Burma). Moreover, the military-perpetrated ongoing airstrikes and heavy artillery launches in ethnic areas had resulted in 1.2 million persons of concern, including 810,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 600,000 stateless Rohingyas being forced to flee homes for their lives according to the latest UNHCR report.

We welcome the latest set of actions by the United States to reaffirm its ongoing support for Burma’s democracy in particular through Senator McConnell-led amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022, additional treasury sanctions on March 25, 2022, a letter of support for Burmese democracy signed by 14 Senators and Members of Congress urging Secretary Blinken and State Department to take actions, the passage of S. Res 35 in the Senate, and US Government’s Rohingya Genocide Determination. We thank Representative Meeks, Representative Bera, and Representative Chabot for their joint statement on the one-year anniversary, and their continued demonstration of support for the democracy and freedom of the people in Burma. We also recognize the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s show of bipartisan support for the BURMA Act on October 21, 2021, and 102 cosponsors from both the House and Senate.

The humanitarian and democracy aid authorized in the BURMA Act are sorely needed, as is the investigation into the oil and gas industry, the accountability for the military’s ongoing war crimes, Rohingya genocide and atrocity crimes against ethnic minorities, and a special coordinator position to make sure it all gets done. The sanction language of the Burma Act targets the junta’s finances in ways that can hurt the regime while sparing the people from additional suffering.

We, the undersigned, urgently request the United States Congress to pass the BURMA Act of 2021 in consideration of the countless lives taken away by the murderous military junta and the dangers that the authoritarian regime imposes on human rights and democracy. We acknowledge the bipartisan support we have received from the House of Representatives and we call for the same unified support by our Senators. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, we look forward to our democratically-elected Congress taking swift, concrete actions in holding the junta accountable for their crimes and supporting the civilian’s efforts in building Burma’s path to democracy.

Sincerely, Signed by:

  1. Action Committee for Democracy Development, VA
  2. American Rohingya Advocacy/ Arakan Institute for Peace and Development, TX
  3. Anti-Dictatorship In Burma- DC Metro Area, MD
  4. Arizona Karen Baptist Church, AZ
  5. Bethel Myanmar Assembly of God, MD
  6. Boston Free Burma, MA
  7. Burma Association at Berkeley, CA
  8. Burma Task Force, IL
  9. Burmese American Community Institute (BACI), IN
  10. Burmese American Millennials, Washington DC
  11. Burmese Chin Community of Atlanta, GA
  12. Burmese Rohingya Community of Wisconsin , WI
  13. Burmese Student Association, Cal Poly SLO, CA
  14. California Karen Youth Connection, CA
  15. Calvary Burmese Church, Washington DC
  16. Campaign for a New Myanmar, Washington DC
  17. CDM Support Group (India), IL
  18. Chin Community of USA-DC Area, Washington DC
  19. Chin Leaders, WI
  20. Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention, IN
  21. Decency & Clarity, VA
  22. DFW Myanmar Ethnic Community, TX
  23. Fort Wayne Burmese Christian Fellowship Church, IN
  24. Freedom For Burma, CA
  25. Free Myanmar , TX
  26. Free Myanmar Campaign, USA
  27. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD), USA
  28. Institute for Asian Democracy, Washington DC
  29. International Campaign for the Rohingya (ICR), Washington DC
  30. International Christian Concern, Washington DC
  31. Karen Baptist Churches, USA
  32. Karen Organization of America, MN
  33. Karen Organization of San Diego, CA
  34. Karen Society of Nebraska, NE
  35. Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC
  36. Karenni Community of Rochester, NY
  37. Karenni Community of Trenton, NJ
  38. LA Rohingya Association/ America Rohingya Justice Network, CA
  39. Lyncourt Wesleyan Church (Myanmar Service), NY
  40. Myanmar Queer Straight Alliance, NY
  41. Myanmar Society of Georgia, GA
  42. Myanmar Student Union USA, CA & MN
  43. Nationalities Alliance of Burma, USA
  44. No Business with Genocide, Washington DC
  45. Overseas Burmese Christians Fellowship, MA
  46. Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church, PA
  47. Prayer Pioneers, WV
  48. Sacred City, CA
  49. Save Myanmar San Francisco, CA
  50. Sizang Burmese Mission Church, MD
  51. Students for Free Burma (SFB), CA
  52. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma, NY
  53. Syracuse Myanmar Community, NY
  54. US Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar (USACM), Washington DC
  55. S. Campaign for Burma, Washington DC
  56. United States Chin Coalition (USCC), IN
  57. Utica Karen Baptist Church, NY
  58. Utica Karen Community, NY

Endorsed by:

  1. 8888 Generation, New Zealand
  2. All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress
  3. All Burma Democratic Face in New Zealand
  4. ALTSEAN-Burma
  5. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
  6. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
  7. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  8. Athan Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  9. Auckland Kachin Community, New Zealand
  10. Auckland Zomi Community, New Zealand
  11. Australian Karen Organisation Inc
  12. Backpack Health Workers Team
  13. Blood Money Campaign
  14. Boat People SOS (BPSOS)
  15. Burma Campaign UK
  16. Burma Medical Association
  17. Burmese Canadian Network
  18. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation, New Zealand
  19. Burmese Women’s Union
  20. California-Nevada Philippine Solidarity Task Force, United Methodist Church
  21. Cambodian Americans and Friends for Democracy and Human Rights Advocate, USA
  22. Chin Community of Auckland, New Zealand
  23. CRPH Support Group- Norway
  24. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
  25. Democracy for Myanmar – Working Group, New Zealand
  26. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization – DPW
  27. Democratic Youth Council
  28. EarthRights International
  29. Equality Myanmar
  30. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group, New Zealand
  31. Fortify Rights
  32. Foundation of Khmer Samaki, USA
  33. Future Light Center
  34. Future Thanlwin
  35. General Strike Committee for Nationalities
  36. Generation Wave
  37. Human Rights Action Center
  38. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  39. International Association, Myanmar-Switzerland
  40. International Ministries
  41. International Society of Myanmar Scholars and Professionals
  42. Justice For Myanmar
  43. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  44. Karen Human Rights Group
  45. Karen Peace Support Network
  46. Karen Women’s Organization
  47. Karenni Civil Society Network
  48. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  49. Karenni Society, New Zealand
  50. Keng Tung Youth
  51. Key of The World
  52. Me Boun Foundation
  53. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  54. Myanmar Engineers, New Zealand
  55. Myanmar Gonye, New Zealand
  56. Myanmar People Alliance, Shan State
  57. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
  58. Myanmar Youth and Student Association-Japan
  59. Network for Human Rights Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma)
  60. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
  61. New Zealand Karen Association
  62. New Zealand Zo Community
  63. Olive Organization
  64. Overseas Mon Association, New Zealand
  65. Progressive Voice
  66. Pyithu Gonye, New Zealand
  67. Rohingya Christian Community
  68. Rohingya-Voice
  69. Rvwang Community Association, New Zealand
  70. San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
  71. Save and Care Organization for Women at Border Areas
  72. Save Myanmar Fundraising Group, New Zealand
  73. Shan Community, New Zealand
  74. Shan MATA
  75. Sisters 2 Sisters
  76. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  77. Southern Youth Development Organization
  78. Synergy- Social Harmony Organization
  79. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  80. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  81. Tanintharyi MATA
  82. Temple Emanu-El
  83. Temple Emanu-El of Utica, NY
  84. Twitter Team for Revolution
  85. Union of Karenni State Youth
  86. Women Advocacy Coalition- Myanmar
  87. Women’s League of Burma

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