Justice in Myanmar
Justice in Myanmar
Dear Gov. Brown:
A grave and unconscionable crime against democracy, freedom, and basic human rights is happening in Myanmar and we are calling on the state of Oregon to respond. Last November, the people of Myanmar overwhelmingly voted for a new and brighter future for the country, under the leadership of the National Democratic Party. The military junta, threatened by the voice of the people, staged a coup, detained the NDP's leader Aung San Suu Kyi and began brutally and systematically shutting down dissent through violence and murder.
The people of Myanmar have vocally but peacefully rejected this illegal coup. Our peaceful demonstrations, labor strikes, boycotts, and civil disobedience movement have been met with bullets, guns, and horrifying displays of violence. Women, men, and children are being shot in the streets and murdered. Hundreds of innocent people have been detained. There is no end in sight.
We have seen this exact thing happen in our country before. We have seen with our own eyes how the military junta will stop at nothing to maintain power. The brutal suppression of the legitimate will of our people will continue unless the US and its democratic allies denounce these crimes and help restore the will of Myanmar voters.
The state of Oregon has long been a welcoming home to immigrants and refugees from Myanmar. We call on the state of Oregon to denounce the coup in Myanmar, to reaffirm the state's commitment to upholding the principles of free and fair elections everywhere, and to urge the federal government to take swift and decisive action. The world must respond, and Oregon's leaders can help spur others to action.
Sanctions alone will not be enough. They weren't in 1990--when a similar illegal crackdown led to two decades of military rule--and they won't be now. The US must show Myanmar's military usurpers that its illegal and undemocratic actions will be opposed by all who value freedom and democracy. And we hope the state of Oregon can help show our allies the way.