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Burmese Generals Deserve to be Flogged: US Congressman

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Burmese Generals Deserve to be Flogged: US Congressman

By LALIT K JHA / WASHINGTON Monday, June 16, 2008<!– , –>

It is the Burmese generals, who have indulged in gross violations of human rights against its own citizens and prevented the establishment of democracy in the country, that need to be flogged and not Aung San Suu Kyi, an influential US Congressman has said.

A Burmese woman holds a candle next to a picture of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally to celebrate her 63rd birthday in Bucheon, west of Seoul, South Korea. (Photo: AP)

“It is the SPDC generals, brutal dictators with their crimes against humanity and campaigns of ethnic cleansing, who deserve to be stripped of power and placed under arrest for many years to come,” Congressman Joe Pitts said on June 12.

Pitts, a Republican, who represents Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Chester and Berks counties, made the speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, after Burmese state-run media said Aung San Suu Kyi deserved to be beaten like an errant child for threatening national security.

“Madam Speaker, I rise today over the comments made by the brutal generals, military dictators in Burma, saying that Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and rightful leader elected by the people, deserves to be flogged. Come again?” Pitts said.

Pitts said these are the generals who stonewalled for weeks and refused to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to get to the people after Cyclone Nargis.

These are the generals who order their military to attack ethnic groups throughout the country and in 1988 issued a blood assimilation order to their troops to marry or rape the ethnic women in order to “purify” the ethnics’ blood lines, he said.

Pitts alleged the generals forcibly conscript children to serve as soldiers in their army and plant land mines around the villages they attack so that returning villagers get maimed or killed.

The authoritarian rulers pillage or plunder the resources of Burma so they can have huge weddings with millions of dollars of jewels around the necks of their daughters, Pitts said.

Meanwhile on June 12, the US Senate approved renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.

“Last month, the whole world got a close look at the SPDC’s contempt for human life when a devastating cyclone hit Burma,” said Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.

“No one can say with certainty what the full toll of death and destruction is from the storm, but we do know the junta greatly compounded matters through inaction and its utter disregard for the Burmese people,” McConnell said before the Senate decided to renew the sanctions.

This bill is the same legislation the Senate has passed in prior years. If enacted, it would extend import sanctions for another year unless the regime takes a number of tangible steps toward democracy and reconciliation.

He said the SPDC severely restricted the entry of relief workers into Burma. Four US navy ships carrying much-needed supplies for Burmese people were turned away time and again by the regime, he alleged.

McConnell said: “Estimates put as many as 135,000 people dead or missing after the cyclone hit on May 3, and many of those deaths must lie at the feet of the SPDC for its outrageous acts of criminal neglect.”

The bill, however, would not hinder or block US efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Burma in the wake of the cyclone. This bill imposes sanctions on trade, not humanitarian aid, McConnell said.

“America is a friend to the people of Burma. That is why we stand against Burma’s tyrannical ruling regime,” he said. Besides McConnell, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, were its co-sponsors.

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

June 17, 2008 at 3:53 am

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