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US Congress Honors Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday - 2003-06-22


VOA Burmese Service reported on joint Congressional Human Rights Caucus and Congressional Women’s Caucus Members’ briefing honoring Burmese democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on the occasion of her 58th birthday and Women of Burma Day, held Thursday, June 19.

The briefing chaired by Congressman Jerry Weller (Illinois) focuses on the deteriorating human right’s situation and highlights the recent political crackdown in Burma.

Congressman Weller told VOA Burmese Service “ The Congress and the U.S. want to make it clear where we stand with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It’s a terrible tragedy…the attack on her as well as her incarceration. She stands as a symbol of freedom and Democracy and hope for all the people of Burma. We stand with her and her goals of bringing pressure to bring about the collapse of the Burmese regime and restore democracy and true human rights to the people of Burma."

Co-Chair of Human Rights Caucus Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) also noted,“ Aung San Suu Kyi who is one of my personal heroines is one of the few tragically remembered human rights champions globally. .. still persecuted… still discriminated against… still denounced by the Burmese government."

He also said the legislation calling for stronger sanctions on Burma- the House resolution H.R. 2330 The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 was approved unanimously by House International Relations a few days ago and is expected to be passed by the whole House within the next ten days.

The expert witnesses who testified at the briefing were U Bo Hla Tint, MP-Elect (NLD) and also a member of the exiled Burmese government (NCGUB), Tom Malinowski, (Human Rights Watch) , Veronika Martin ( Refugees International), Aung Din, Director of policy ,(Free Burma Coalition) , Naw Musi, an Ethnic Karen , (Refugees International) and T. Kumar, Advocacy Director for Asia, Amnesty International USA .

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