February 1, 2023

Young Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Military Coup in Burma, Calls for Restoration of Democracy for Burmese People

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the two-year anniversary of the military coup in Burma, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reaffirmed his commitment to condemning the coup and to standing with the Burmese people and their aspirations to restore democracy in their country.

Since February 1, 2021, the Burmese military has engaged in mass atrocities, including by detaining over 13,000 people for exercising basic freedoms and killing over 2,800 civilians, including children. Today, over 17 million people in Burma are in need of humanitarian aid, and 1.5 million remain internally displaced due to the ongoing violence and instability fostered by the military.

“Indiana is home to one of the largest Burmese-American communities in the U.S. It has been heartbreaking to sit with these fellow Hoosiers and hear how families and loved ones had their hopes and dreams for the future disrupted two years ago by the military coup in Burma,” said Senator Young. “Burma has made great strides toward democratic governance, and while this coup is a setback, it will not be the end of the story. This bipartisan resolution expresses solidarity with the Burmese people’s aspirations for a free and prosperous Burma. I am proud to stand with the people of Burma both now in this time of crisis and in the future.”

Senator Young joined Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in introducing a Senate resolution condemning the coup and calling for an immediate return to democratic governance grounded in respect for civil liberties.

You can read the full resolution here.

Senator Young also joined Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in releasing the following bipartisan statement:

“Two years since the Burmese military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government in a brutal coup d’etat, we remember those who have lost their lives to its violent repression. Today, we reiterate our vehement condemnation of the Tatmadaw’s merciless killing and torture of the people of Burma, including the executions of pro-democracy activists and decades of atrocities against ethnic minorities like the Rohingya, and speak with one voice in calling for the regime to immediately release all political prisoners, including President Win Myint and State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi.

“While the Tatmadaw plans to hold sham elections later this year, this path will never lead to legitimacy in the eyes of the Burmese people or the broader international community. This is made clear by ASEAN members’ efforts to hold the Tatmadaw to the 5 Point Consensus and steps by United Nations members states to deny legitimacy to the coup leaders. In addition, Congress’ passage of the Burma Act will provide the Burmese people with humanitarian aid and impose diplomatic and economic costs on those supporting the illegitimate regime. In this vein, we encourage the administration to continue sanctioning coup leaders and their related businesses as a demonstration of solidarity with the Burmese people as they struggle for the return of democracy, respect for human rights, and civilian control of government.”

You can access the full statement here.

Senators Young and Cardin have been on the forefront of Senate action in support of Burma’s democracy, calling for sanctions against senior military leaders for gross human rights violations, including the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.