house resolution no.64

Reps. Haadsma, Rogers, Scott, Farhat, Hill, Arbit, McFall, Conlin, Morgan, Brenda Carter, Young, O'Neal, Neeley, Tyrone Carter, Witwer, Morse, Martus, Weiss, Puri, Brixie, Koleszar, Brabec, Mentzer, Paiz, Wilson, Pohutsky, Snyder, Hope, Liberati, Coffia, Price, Tsernoglou, Andrews, Rheingans, Wegela, Coleman, Grant, Hood, Edwards, Dievendorf, Miller, Byrnes, Steckloff, Breen, Shannon, MacDonell, Churches, Fitzgerald, McKinney, Whitsett, Aiyash and Glanville offered the following resolution:

A resolution to memorialize the federal government to continue to stand with the Burmese people against the military coup in Burma.

Whereas, Two years ago, on February 1, 2021, the military of Burma carried out a coup against the nationís government. On the day when a newly elected parliament was scheduled to convene, the military deposed the government in defiance of the will of the people, falsely claiming there had been widespread voter fraud. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who has worked to democratize Burma for decades and is the leader of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, was detained on spurious charges. She has since been found guilty of several crimes in closed trials and sentenced to decades in prison. Her lawyers were forbidden from discussing the case. Other prominent members of the NLD party, including President Win Myint, were also detained. Those who might pose a threat to the regime in future elections have been killed, jailed, subjected to violence, or forced to flee the country; and

Whereas, The military regime in Burma has engaged in a campaign of violence and oppression against the Burmese people. At least 2,940 people have been killed by the military or their affiliates, and at least 17,572 people have been detained. Health workers, medical supplies, and stocks of food have been targeted for destruction, leaving approximately 40 percent of the population in poverty. Even in areas with no active fighting, civilians are not safe; soldiers have burned homes, cattle, and people. Since the coup, 1.3 million people have been internally displaced, and the United Nations estimates that 17.6 million people, nearly one-third of the population, will be in need of humanitarian aid in 2023. In attempts to hide their atrocities and suppress dissent, the regime has required the registration of non-governmental organizations and threatened harsh prison sentences for those supporting anti-military armed groups on social media; and

Whereas, Despite threats to their health and safety, the people of Burma have stood against this assault on their democracy. Even as protesters were shot in the streets, the people launched a Civil Disobedience Movement, refusing to bow to tyrants; and

Whereas, Michigan has been a place of refuge for the Burmese people for years. Over the period 2008 to 2014, Michigan took in the tenth-largest population of Burmese refugees in the United States. The Burma Center was established in Springfield in 2014, offering health, wellness, and education services to the local Burmese population. Since the coup in 2021, the Burma Center has been crucial in helping Burmese Michiganders cope with fears for their loved ones and with reminders of their own flights from the military regime decades ago; and

Whereas, The United States government has taken important steps to oppose the military takeover in Burma. Just days after the coup díťtat, the United States President declared a national emergency to deal with the threat posed by the situation, blocking transactions in property in the United States by various persons related to the Burmese military and suspending entry of these persons into the United States. Within the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, Congress expanded the executive branchís authority to impose sanctions to help bring about the restoration of civilian government in Burma by enacting the Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability (BURMA) Act of 2022. The United States continues to impose sanctions on individuals and entities that support or attempt to legitimize the military regime, though the nation could be even more proactive in its Burma policy; and

Whereas, Continued solidarity of the United States with the Burmese people will be crucial in returning democracy to Burma. While the United Nations Security Council recently adopted a resolution expressing its deep concern with the situation and demanding an immediate end to the violence, the United Nations has continued to have limited access to Burma for reporting, oversight, and humanitarian aid. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been unable to exert sufficient pressure to end the violence, with opposition to the military regime varying between member nations. As the leader of the free world, it is the duty of the United States to use its influence to advocate for an end to military rule in Burma; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we memorialize the federal government to continue to stand with the Burmese people against the military coup in Burma; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.