To Guarantee Justice for Ethnic Minorities in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi Must Intensify Efforts and U.S. Must Maintain Sanctions

Statement of Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service, in advance of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Visit to the United States

NEW YORK—“To many Americans, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an historic figure who represents the cause of freedom and human rights in Myanmar. We call upon Suu Kyi to build on her hard-earned reputation by intensifying her efforts to guarantee respect and human rights for all of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities, most notably the Rohingya, who are threatened with horrific persecution,” said Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service.

“At the same time, we call upon the Obama Administration and Congress to continue to press Myanmar by maintaining the remaining United States sanctions on Myanmar until the current government has made significant progress in addressing the concerns of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities and other human rights issues.”

“Myanmar’s ethnic groups have suffered from decades of persecution, discrimination, cultural suppression, land grabbing and violence at the hands of the central government, and these underlying conditions must be addressed, not continued, by Suu Kyi’s newly elected government.”

“We urge State Counsellor Suu Kyi to live up to her promise by moving beyond preliminary gestures and addressing the underlying inequalities in Burmese society that have stirred ethnic conflicts for decades. Until Burma’s ethnic minorities are treated equally and their cultures and religions, claims to their lands and right to live free of violence are respected, State Counsellor Suu Kyi will continue to fail to live up to the high hopes with which she was elected and welcomed by the world as the new leader of Myanmar.”

 

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