President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NWWashington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,
Successive U.S. administrations, with overwhelming bi-partisan support from Congress, have shown their support for Burmese peoples’ aspiration to live in a democratic society free from their military dictatorship. Unfortunately, despite U.S. efforts as well as decades of peaceful attempts by successive United Nations Special Envoys and Rapporteurs to convince the Burmese military regime to end its atrocities and seek a peaceful transition to democracy, peace, democracy and stability elude Burma.
Therefore, we urge you to take the lead in establishing a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Commission of Inquiry into the Burmese military regime’s crimes against humanity and war crimes against its civilian population. Similar cases in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and Darfur have all led to Commissions of Inquiry and each previous case had UN Special Envoys and Special Rapporteurs assigned to seeking peaceful solutions to their respective countries international humanitarian crises. Still though, the UNSC took the necessary step and established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and provide justice and accountability for the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed with impunity by state agents. By elevating the cause of Burma to the UNSC, the United States is putting Burma’s supporters on notice that we will not support the status quo while millions of people languish.
The United Nations has passed over 30 resolutions acknowledging and decrying the Burmese military regime’s crimes and blatant system of impunity. All the while, Burma’s military regime has carried out a scorched-earth campaign against the country’s ethnic minority civilian population, destroying over 3,300 villages, using systematic rape as a weapon of war, pressing the Burmese people into modern-day slave labor, killing innocent civilians, and forcing at least one million people to flee their homes as refugees and internally displaced. The regime has also conscripted tens of thousands of child soldiers, and imprisoned and tortured those who dare speak out in support of freedom and democracy.
Compounding the brutality of the regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity is their flagrant system of impunity, in which perpetrators go free, but victims fear retribution if they seek accountability and justice. While the “slow burn” nature of the military regime’s grave crimes has kept the spotlight away from these atrocities, it makes them no less dire. In fact, it makes it ever more urgent that we call upon the UNSC to hold the Burmese military regime to account for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Furthermore, the regime’s constitution, on which it predicates its upcoming elections in 2010, contains an amnesty provision that exempts all members of the military regime from prosecution. The amnesty provision is a blatant attempt to legitimize the structured and systematic violence in the country for all junta inflicted crimes. In addition to the amnesty provision, the constitution also removes any rights for civil redress for victims of crimes committed by the military and police and blocks access to justice in civilian courts thus effectively denying justice to the regime’s victims.
The world must not sit by and allow Burma’s regime to commit mass atrocities with impunity. We urge you to urgently seek support at the UNSC for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Burmese regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and system of impunity. The regime must be held accountable, on behalf of the millions of people of Burma who have no other course for redress.

Joe Crowley (D-NY)
Don Manzullo (R-IL)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Peter King (R-NY)
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Madeline Bordallo (D-Guam)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Jim Moran (D-VA)
Frank Wolf (R-VA)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Brian Bilbray (R-CA)
David Price (D-NC)
Dan Maffei (D-NY)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)
Paul Hodes (D-NH)
Bob Inglis (R-SC)
Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Edward Royce (R-CA)
Tom Perriello (D-VA)
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
James Langevin (D-RI)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Mark Souder (R-IN)
Aaron Schock (R-IL)
Michael Honda (D-CA)
Steve Israel (D-NY)
Albio Sires (D-NJ)
James McGovern (D-MA)
Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)
Todd Platts (R-PA)
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Michael McMahon (D-NY)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
John Boozeman (R-AR)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Dan Burton (R-IN)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Luis GutiƩrrez (D-IL)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
John Culberson (R-TX)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Brad Miller (D-NC)
Betsy Markey (D-CO)
Anh (Joseph) Cao (R-LA)

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First, through a concerted, non-violent protest by all citizens of the country at home and international fora. If it is responded by repression and harsher measures, then, through an armed revolution. Such moves are sure to be supported by all democratic and peace loving countries of the world. (modest)

(The question for above answer was asked by Min Myo Naing using another name in June of 2006.)


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An exiled journalist from Burma, I have taken refuge in the United States with my family thanks to CPJ in New York, UNHCR (Cambodia) and the States Department. I was detained for one and a half year in 1969 for burning effigy of the late dictator Ne Win in the Rangoon University campus during SEA Games Strike. I was also actively participated in 8888 nationwide uprising by taking charge in publishing The Guardian Daily as independent newspaper for 22 days before I resigned from the newspaper as Assistant Editor in September,1988. Fortunately, I was escaped from arresting by the military regime. In 1990, I left for Bangkok where I had an assignment to translate the "Outrage: Burma's Struggle for Democracy". The book was originally written by Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist. I fled my country in December 2005 after my life was threatened by the military intelligence service for involving in political movements and had given assistance to foreign journalists who came to Burma. I am still active with the movement for restoring democracy in Burma.