The United States has demanded the immediate and full restoration of the democratically elected government in Myanmar and said that America stands with the elected representatives of the Asian nation. ”It is fair to say that we stand with the duly elected representatives of the people of Burma in their efforts to speak for the people of the country. We join them in demanding the immediate and full restoration of the democratically elected government,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference. ”We stand with the people of Burma, support their right to assemble peacefully, including to protest peacefully in support of the democratically elected government, and the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, to receive, to impart information both online and offline,” he said. Myanmar’s military last week took control of the country for one year and detained top political figures, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi The military accused Suu Kyi’s government of not investigating allegations of voter fraud in recent elections. Suu Kyi’s party swept that vote and the military-backed party did poorly. The state Election Commission has refuted the allegations.
The United States, he said, is very concerned about the military’s recent announcement restricting public gatherings. ”We strongly support the right of all individuals in Burma and around the world to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, including for the purposes of peaceful protest,” he said. Price said the US is taking a very close look at the policy measures that we could potentially enact should the military not change its course. ”We are moving quickly in that measure, and we’re doing so I think consistent with the principle that I outlined with Matt in a very different context: making sure that whatever we do to hold the military to account for this coup, that we don’t add to the humanitarian concern of the people of Burma. So we’re doing that in this case as well, he said.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Monday came out in support on the people of Burma. Over the weekend hundreds of thousands of protestors stood up across Burma in defiance of the military coup. For a week now, the military has detained hundreds of civil society leaders and democratically elected officials — some on mysterious or obviously specious charges, and others without charge at all, he said in his remarks on the Senate floor. Their actions were illegitimate from the start. And their treatment of these political prisoners is showing the world of the military regime’s disdain for the rule of law. In the face of this tyranny, and with the memory of how brutally the military has dealt with protestors in the past, the public unity of so many of Burma’s people is a powerful display of courage, he said.
In far-flung cities and towns, members of the country’s diverse ethnic groups — from the Burman majority to the Shan and Rohingya minorities — have rallied around the democratically-elected government. They are demanding justice and an end to military rule, McConnell said. I’ve been encouraged over the past week by the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the administration to demonstrate the United States’ condemnation of the military’s flagrant assault on political rights. Today, it’s time to follow up with meaningful costs on those who aid and abet the suffocation of Burmese democracy, he said.
Last week, Senators Todd Young and Ben Cardin, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution condemning the February 1 military coup in Burma. The resolution calls for an end to the military action and for those elected to serve in parliament to resume their duties without impediment.