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Resolution on Burma Approved by House

On July 11, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H.J. Res. 86) to extend import restrictions on Burma for one year. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA).

Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) said that “the Burmese military regime has resisted all international pressure to enact meaningful political reforms and create true democracy. In response, for many years now, the United States has imposed sanctions, including banning all imports from Burma.” He went on to say that “Burma’s human rights record continues to worsen. In 2005, security forces in the country continued to rape and murder Burmese citizens, force them into slave labor, and compel people into serving in militia units to defend the regime that they abhor.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) described atrocities committed against women, saying, “The U.S. State Department and two NGOs [non-governmental organizations] have confirmed that torture and rape are being used as weapons of war. A report issued in 2002 by The Shan Human Rights Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network documents 173 cases of rape and sexual violence involving 625 girls and women. The study points out that 61 percent were gang-rapes and that 25 percent of these girls and women died, some of whom were detained and repeatedly raped for up to four months.”

 

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