Saturday, 24 April 2010

US Congressman Calls For Burmese Military Revolt

By LALIT K. JHA Friday, April 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has urged “patriots” in the Burmese military to join pro-democracy advocates like Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic fighters to overthrow the military junta and restore democracy in Burma.
Speaking on the floor of the House of Representative, the California congressman said that patriots and freedom-loving people of Burma will either join against tyranny and foreign domination, or their country will be lost for generations to come.
US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. (Photo: AP)
“The time has come to choose,” Rohrabacher said. “ Let the Burmese, the ethnic people of Burma, the business and military leaders who long for a legitimate and honest government, and all of the other patriots there, let them have the courage to step forward and join together and retake their country. The time is now.”
Rohrabacher said there needs to be reconciliation between the Burmans and the ethnic groups who make up half of Burma's population, adding that in the decades-old insurgency the ethnic fighters have been the primary source of opposition to Burma’s iron-fisted dictatorship.
“Urban democratic leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi and other patriotic Burmans have been beaten down and repressed and imprisoned. These two elements must come together, the Burmans and the ethnic groups that are fighting the Burmese dictatorship,” Rohrabacher said. “They must come together as one under a banner promising respect for the rights and traditions of various people, those various people who make up the wonderfully diverse nation of Burma.”
Rohrabacher appealed for members of the Burmese military to join the fight against the junta.
“An opposition coalition must be joined also by patriots in the military, professional soldiers who seek to remake their army into a respected defender of the nation, not a tool of corruption and foreign domination. It is time for leaders in the army to join the people and build a new, prosperous and free and, yes, independent Burma,” Rohrabacher said.
“In the blink of an eye, Burma can reclaim its sovereignty and can be put on the path to national reconciliation, democracy, and, yes, prosperity. The military in a new Burma, as are professional armies throughout the democratic nations of the world, will be a respected institution, not a tool of foreign domination, repression and corruption,” he said.
Drawing attention to the history of the plight of the people of Burma, Rohrabacher recounted how shortly after World War II Burma was granted its independence from Great Britain. At that time, with democratic institutions in place, rich natural resources and an educated population, it was expected that Burma would become a wealthy, stable and free country.
“Sadly, that country, with so much potential, has been dominated by corrupt tyrants. And despite its vast natural wealth, its people suffer in abject poverty,” Rohrabacher said.
He said the people of Burma are actually losing their country to a foreign power—China.
“A Chinese power grab is not only depleting and stealing Burma’s natural resources, but slowly and surely, Burma is being turned into a subservient province of Beijing,” Rohrabacher said. “China is literally stealing Burma from its own people, and it is accomplishing this monumental crime with the assistance of Burmese government officials whose lust for power is greater than any loyalty to their own national homeland.”
“This is a great moment of opportunity,” Rohrabacher said. “People of Burma, do not let this moment pass by. The world will celebrate with you as you recapture your nation. We are on your side.”