Your Views: Pass the BURMA Act

Your Views: Pass the BURMA Act
We should all urge our Senators to pass the BURMA Act. (File photo)

To the editor:

This month marks five years since the Burmese military committed genocide against the country’s ethnic Rohingya group, forcing hundreds of thousands of people of all ages from their homes – burning villages, assaulting women and executing people in cold blood.

Burma’s military has a long track record of violence and repression. Since the military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government and seized power in February 2021, shadowy tribunals have sentenced more than 100 people to death. Four pro-democracy activists – including a former member of parliament and a popular protest musician – were executed by the state on July 25.

The number of people in need of humanitarian aid in the country has ballooned from 1 million to 14 million. More than 700,000 people have had to flee their homes. But there’s something we can do to help.

The BURMA Act is important legislation awaiting Senate passage. It would hold members of the Burmese military accountable for this violence and get much-needed aid to the region. It passed the House with strong bipartisan support in April. It’s time for the Senate to step up and do the same.

U.S. leadership matters. And the time is now, before our leaders break for August recess, and before more lives are lost to perpetrators of genocide.

We should all urge our Senators to pass the BURMA Act.

-Ellen McHugh, Alexandria