Text: H.Res.1677 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)

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Engrossed in House (11/18/2010)


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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 1677 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 1677

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                     November 18, 2010.
Whereas the current military regime, officially known as the State Peace and 
        Development Council (SPDC), known previously as the State Law and Order 
        Restoration Council (SLORC), held multi-party elections in 1990;
Whereas despite the threat and pressure by the military regime to vote for the 
        candidates of the military-backed National Unity Party (NUP), the people 
        of Burma voted 82 percent of parliament seats for the candidates of the 
        National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by formerly detained 
        leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and allied ethnic political parties;
Whereas the military regime refused to honor the election results and arrested 
        and imprisoned both democracy activists and elected members of 
        parliament;
Whereas the SPDC over a period of 14 years held a National Convention to draft a 
        new constitution in which the process was tightly controlled, 
        repressive, and undemocratic;
Whereas the NLD walked out of the convention in 1995 because participants were 
        not allowed to table alternative proposals or voice disagreement with 
        the military regime;
Whereas the people of Burma, led by democracy activists and Buddhist monks in 
        August and September 2007, took to the streets for national 
        reconciliation and the transition to democracy;
Whereas the military regime brutally crushed the peaceful protests, killing at 
        least 31 people, leaving nearly 100 missing, and arresting 700 
        additional political prisoners bringing the number of Burma's political 
        prisoners to approximately 2,100;
Whereas the SPDC has ignored the repeated requests of the United Nations and the 
        international community to release all political prisoners and end 
        attacks against civilians;
Whereas at the same time, the SPDC assigned a commission to draft a constitution 
        on October 18, 2007, with 54 handpicked participants, in an attempt to 
        ignore past election results, to lock in a process that excludes 
        representatives of ethnic nationalities and the NLD from political 
        participation, and to legitimize continued military rule;
Whereas the latest version of the draft constitution seeks to codify military 
        rule by reserving 25 percent of parliamentary seats for military 
        appointees, permits the head of the military to intervene in national 
        politics, and ensures that key government ministries are held by 
        military officers;
Whereas amidst the crisis in parts of the country caused by Cyclone Nargis, the 
        country's military junta staged a referendum to force through a new 
        constitution, drafted without input from the opposition;
Whereas the vote for the referendum did not follow a free and fair democratic 
        process;
Whereas conditions prior to the referendum consisted of repression, a lack of a 
        free media, and a lack of an independent referendum commission and 
        courts to supervise the vote;
Whereas the amnesty provision of the constitution removes any rights for civil 
        redress for victims of crimes committed by the military and leaders of 
        the democratic opposition have refused to accept this constitution;
Whereas the amnesty provision is a blatant attempt to legitimize the systematic 
        violence in the country for all junta inflicted crimes;
Whereas the ruling military junta in Burma has one of the worst human rights 
        records in the world and routinely violates the rights of Burmese 
        citizens, including the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war, 
        extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, as 
        well as slave and child labor, including child soldiers;
Whereas the previous detention of Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burmese military 
        regime contravenes Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human 
        Rights and has drawn widespread condemnation from around the world;
Whereas in March 2010, the military regime announced laws governing the 
        elections, including the Union Election Commission Law, giving their 
        handpicked members complete authority to convene the election, along 
        with final decisionmaking power, regarding election postponement, 
        rejection, monitoring, forming sub-commissions, formation of 
        constituencies, compiling list of eligible voters, and forming of 
        tribunals to judge election dispute;
Whereas articles 4 and 10 of the Political Parties Registration Law bans all 
        monks, nuns, and leaders of other religions, government staff, political 
        prisoners and prisoners, foreigners, and members of and those related to 
        unlawful associations and insurgent groups from forming and 
        participating in a political party, further stating that failure to 
        expel such individuals from your political party will result in 
        abolishment of the political party;
Whereas article 6 of the Political Parties Registration Law states that all 
        political parties must pledge to abide and protect the military regime's 
        undemocratic and fraudulent 2008 constitution;
Whereas the NLD refused to re-register under such unjust election laws that 
        would have forced them to expel their leader Aung San Suu Kyi and pledge 
        support for the regime's undemocratic constitution;
Whereas the military regime's election commission released severely restrictive 
        political party campaign rules banning all marches, chanting, and flags 
        and also prohibits any speeches or publications that criticize the 
        military regime;
Whereas the election commission can de-register any political party at their 
        discretion;
Whereas it is impossible under the regime's 2008 constitution and 2010 election 
        laws for the election to be free, fair, inclusive, or democratic; and
Whereas the November 7 election was marked by widespread fraud, voter 
        intimidation, cheating, and irregularities reported throughout the 
        country: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) denounces the one-sided, undemocratic, and illegitimate actions 
        of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) that seek to 
        legitimize military rule through a flawed election process;
            (2) denounces the military regime's dissolution of the National 
        League for Democracy and insists that no government in Burma can be 
        considered democratic or legitimate without the participation of Aung 
        San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy, and ethnic nationalities 
        and the full restoration of democracy, freedom of assembly, freedom of 
        movement, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and internationally 
        recognized human rights for all Burmese citizens;
            (3) insists that Burma's military regime begin an immediate 
        transition toward national reconciliation, and the full restoration of 
        democracy, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, 
        freedom of the press, and internationally recognized human rights for 
        all Burmese citizens;
            (4) demands the immediate and unconditional release of detained 
        Buddhist monks and all other political prisoners and prisoners of 
        conscience;
            (5) calls on the Administration to not support or recognize the 
        military regime's elections as legitimate;
            (6) calls on the Burmese junta to change the current flawed 
        constitution by permitting members of the democratic opposition and 
        ethnic minorities to participate in government;
            (7) calls for full accountability of those responsible for human 
        rights violations;
            (8) urges support for a credible and robust international inquiry to 
        investigate the Burmese regime's war crimes, crimes against humanity, 
        and system of impunity; and
            (9) calls for the Administration to fully implement the Tom Lantos 
        Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008 by nominating the Special Representative 
        and Policy Coordinator on Burma and imposing appropriate financial 
        sanctions to facilitate the priorities expressed in paragraphs (1) 
        through (8).
            Attest:

                                                                          Clerk.