As leaders and activists from diverse ethnic communities we affirm that we stand in solidarity…
For Immediate Release
Contact: Adem Carroll
(Washington D.C., January 31, 2020) In the early hours, the Burmese military arrested State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and a number of her colleagues, carrying out their refusal to accept the results of the November 2020 elections. Burma Task Force condemns the military detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the rightfully elected Burmese leader.
“Although almost exactly one year ago Aung San Suu Kyi defended the genocide of Rohingya at the international Court of Justice, a takeover by the Genocidal military is neither a solution for the Rohingya people nor for other minorities and people of Burma,” stated Malik Mujahid, Chair of Burma Task Force, a program of the UN-accredited NGO Justice for All. “Tragically, State Counsellor Suu Kyi betrayed her own followers defending the Rohingya genocide and now her military has betrayed her.”
“This shocking aggression reminds us of ex-President Trump’s refusal to accept the November elections in the United States,” added Justice for All Washington Office Director Hena Zuberi. “Democracy is being attacked everywhere. But this coup is extremely dangerous. We call on the Biden Administration to restore sanctions on Burmese military businesses that were mistakenly removed in 2016. The military is not accountable because it has its own massive source of income, especially in the gemstone trade.”
Since 2012, Burma Task Force has been working to expose the systematic, genocidal violation of Rohingya rights in Burma, demanding restoration of religious and citizenship rights for this Muslim minority. Throughout this period, the Burmese Government has been committed to extreme, oppressive policies that marginalize minority rights, while grossly exaggerating security threats to rationalize its brutal control over Rakhine State, the homeland of the Rohingya.
“Talk is cheap. The US can and should restore sanctions targeting military owned businesses with a stroke of President Biden’s pen,” added Adem Carroll, United Nations Program Director with Burma Task Force. “Just as crucial, the world must act to show solidarity with the people of Burma, whose political will has been ignored by the generals. Sales of weaponry from India, China and Russia must be stopped immediately and an arms embargo imposed.”
Though Rohingya and other minorities were not allowed to vote in Burma’s November elections, over 82 percent of Burmese people voted for Suu Kyi’s NLD Party. Allegations that this was a false result are not credible. To save democracy in Burma, the next steps will be in the hands of the Burmese people. But the international community must show it still cares about defending democracy, and not just business as usual.
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