October 25, 2017

Young: Bold Action Needed to End Humanitarian Crisis in Burma

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor today calling for an end to the Burmese military’s systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority. The Burmese military has conducted a campaign of violence against the Rohingya, including the use of arson, murder, and rape. On Tuesday, officials from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called the resulting population movement “almost unprecedented.”  It is estimated that more than 600,000 people have fled Rakhine State and sought refuge in Bangladesh. Indiana is home to thousands of Burmese-Americans 

“Now is the time to take bold and effective action against the Burmese government to end the violence, not just to help the Burmese people, but to help stabilize the region and protect U.S. national security interests,” said Senator Young. 

Last week, Senator Young and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) led a bipartisan letter to U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley urging U.S. leadership and tangible actions.  The Senators called on the Burmese government to “immediately end its ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya; permit safe access to Burma for journalists, humanitarians, and United Nations fact-finding mission personnel; and work to address the root of this conflict by affirming support for the report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.” 

Senator Young echoed his concerns in a meeting this afternoon with Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn.  

On Tuesday, Young asked questions of Department of State and USAID officials in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.  Click here for a video of his hearing questions. 

You can view a highlight of the speech by clicking on the screenshot below.

Click here to view the Senator’s full floor speech.