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Senator McConnell Speech

By US Senator Mitch McConnell  •  July 22, 2010

Senate to Vote on Bill to Renew Sanctions Against the Burmese Government

For Immediate Release

Contacts:

Don Stewart 202-224-2979, 202-224-2979, Robert Steurer 202-224-8288 , 202-224-8288 , Jonathan Samford 202-224-8285,202-224-8285

‘The United States must deny this regime the legitimacy it so craves and await the day when the Burmese people will be permitted to govern their own affairs.’

Click here to listen to Senator McConnell’s speech on the renewal of economic sanctions on Burma.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding his legislation to renew sanction against the Burmese government:

“Later today, my colleagues and I will vote on H.J. Res. 83, which would extend sanctions on the Burmese regime for another year.  As in years past, I am joined in this effort by my good friend, Senator Dianne Feinstein.  Alongside the two of us are 66 other cosponsors, including Senators McCain, Durbin, Gregg and Lieberman.  This overwhelming bipartisan support for sanctioning the junta reflects the clear view of more than two thirds of the United States Senate that the generals currently ruling Burma should be denied the legitimacy they are pursuing through this year’s sham elections.

“Renewing sanctions against the military regime in Burma is as timely and important as ever.

“The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) is continuing its efforts to try to stand up a farcical, new constitution by holding a bogus election.

“These elections—whenever they take place—will be dubious for a number of reasons.  First, the junta continues to imprison Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.  The generals have made it clear that they will prevent her from participating in any government under the new constitution.

“Second, the military leadership effectively forced Suu Kyi’s party, which overwhelmingly won the last democratic election in 1990, to shutter its operation.

“Third, the Burmese electoral watchdog, which is essentially an arm of the SPDC, recently issued rules on campaigning that are ludicrous on their very face.  For instance, they prohibit a variety of electioneering activities, such as organizing marches, holding flags and chanting slogans.

“As if things in Burma on the election front were not alarming enough, the potential security threat posed by the regime has become increasingly worrisome.

“The last several months have continued to produce press reports of ties between Burma and North Korea, including particularly alarming indications of alleged weapons transfers from Pyongyang.

“I am hopeful that the time will soon come when sanctions against the Burmese government will no longer be needed.  That like South Africa in the early 1990s the people of Burma will be able to free themselves from their own government.  However, as recent events indicate, the Burmese junta maintains its iron grip on its people and continues to carry out a foreign policy that is inimical to U.S. objectives.

“For these reasons the United States must deny this regime the legitimacy it so craves and await the day when the Burmese people will be permitted to govern their own affairs.”

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This post is in: Press Release

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