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CONTENTS

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24

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HEARINGS

October 1, 2003

October 2, 2003

WITNESSES

Wunna Maung, National League for Democracy

..............

Stephen Dun, World Aid .........

Michael Mitchell, Orion Strategies .............

Naw Musi, Burmese Refugee

Bo Hla-Tint, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma ..

The Honorable Matthew Daley, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East

Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

The Honorable Lorne W. Čraner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy,

Human Rights and Labor .....

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Elton Gallegly, a Representative in Congress from the State

of California, and Chairman, Subcommittee on International Terrorism,

Nonproliferation and Human Rights: Prepared statements ............... ............... 2,

Wunna Maung: Prepared statement .......

Stephen Dun: Prepared statement

Michael Mitchell: Prepared statement and material submitted for the record ..

Naw Musi: Prepared statement ............

Bo Hla-Tint: Prepared statement ..............

The Honorable Matthew Daley: Prepared statement ....

The Honorable Lorne W. Craner: Prepared statement ....

APPENDIX

The Honorable James A. Leach, a Representative in Congress from the State

of Iowa, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific: Prepared

statements

...........71, 75

Responses of Michael Mitchell, Orion Strategies, to questions asked by the

Honorable Joseph R. Pitts, a Representative in Congress from the Common-

wealth of Pennsylvania ........

.......................................

The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts: Prepared statement

Chin Human Rights Organization: Prepared statement ..........

Letter to Congress from the Karenni National Progressive Party dated Sep-

tember 17, 2003 ............

Letter to Congress from the Restoration Council of the Shan State dated

September 10, 2003 .............

Response of the Honorable Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau

of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, to question asked by the Honor-

able Joseph R. Pitts.

Responses of the Honorable Matthew Daley, Deputy Assistant Secretary,

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, to

questions asked by the Honorable Joseph R. Pitts.

.......

HUMAN RIGHTS IN BURMA:
FIFTEEN YEARS POST MILITARY COUP

(PART I)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2003

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM,

NONPROLIFERATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS, AND
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,

Washington, DC. The Subcommittees met, pursuant to call, at 1:33 p.m. in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Elton Gallegly [Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights] presiding.

Mr. GALLEGLY. Today, the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific are holding the first of two back-to-back hearings on the human rights situation in Burma. The second hearing on this subject in which we will hear from the Administration will take place tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in this room.

The timing of this hearing is important not only because of the anniversary of the 1988 military coup which brought the current dictatorial regime to power, this hearing will also be the first occasion for the United States Congress to hear a firsthand account of the May 30th attack by the pro-government group on Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters.

The Subcommittees are privileged to hear from Wanna Maung, who was an eyewitness to the events on May 30. The attack left scores of Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters either dead or injured, and Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin Oo, the deputy leader of the opposition National Democratic League, were taken into custody.

This violent attack is one more example of the brutality of the State Peace and Development Council, the military junta that has ruled the country since 1988. Their record represents a laundry list of some of the worst human rights practice in the world:

For instance, the regime regularly engages in violent repression of political opponents and ethic minorities, resulting in a huge overflow of refugees to neighboring countries, as well as a large number of internally displaced persons.

The regime has shown no respect for the elections of the democratic process. In the 1990 national elections, the National Democratic League won by 82 percent of the seats in parliament. Instead

of peacefully transferring power, the government nullified the election results.

The regime has ignored even the most basic needs of its people, such as health care and adequate food. The regime has also done little to address the growing HIV/AIDs problem. Instead, it is spending an estimated 40 percent of its GDP on the military, which has doubled in size since the SPDC took power in 1988.

The Burmese government has one of the poorest records in the world in the area of human trafficking. Burma was one of 15 nations to be placed on the State Department's Tier III list, which is defined as a country whose government does not comply with even the minimum standards of Trafficking Victims Protection Act and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance.

Of those 15 countries, President Bush decided to impose sanctions on the three nations—Burma, North Korea and Cuba-because of their lack of progress on human trafficking. In deciding to go forward with sanctions, the Administration found that “the Burmese military is directly involved in forced labor trafficking” and has an inadequate record of combating trafficking for sexual exploitation.

In addition to this dismal human rights record, there is another issue that merits close attention by the United States and the international community. There are reports that Burma is attempting to obtain missiles and other arms from North Korea. This is part of a pattern of closer ties between the two countries. In addition, Burma is attempting to buy a nuclear reactor from Russia. Nuclear technology and North Korean missiles in the hands of tyrants of Rangoon are clearly a serious threat to the region and to the entire world.

Before I recognize Mr. Sherman, I understand he is on his way, and if he has an opening statement, we will take it as soon as he comes, but I want to take this time to particularly specifically thank my good friend, the Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee, Joe Pitts, for his interest in the plight of the Burmese and the work of his staff in preparation for this hearing. Joe, you have done a masterful job.

If Brad is not here, we will take his statement when he gets here, and if there is any other Member that would like to make a statement.

If you have a brief statement, that is fine. I will defer to Mr. Pitts. But anyone else who would like to-well, we have Mr. Sherman. Do you have an opening statement, Brad?

[The prepared statement of Mr. Gallegly follows:] PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ELTON GALLEGLY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, NONPROLIFERATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS

OCTOBER 1, 2003 Today, the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific are holding the first of two back-to-back hearings on the human rights situation in Burma. The second hearing on this subject, in which we will hear from the Administration, will take place tomorrow morning.

The timing of this hearing is important not only because of the anniversary of the 1988 military coup which brought the current dictatorial regime to power. This hearing will be also be the first occasion for the United States Congress to hear a

first-hand account of the May 30th attack by a pro-government group on Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters. The subcommittees are privileged to hear from Wanna Maung, who was an eyewitness to the events of May 30. The attack left scores of Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters either dead or injured, and Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin Oo, the deputy leader of the opposition National Democratic League, were taken into custody.

This violent attack is one more example of the brutality of the State Peace and Development Council, the military junta that has ruled the country since 1988. Their record represents a laundry list of some of the worst human rights practices in the world:

• For instance, the regime regularly engages in violent repression of political

opponents and ethnic minorities, resulting a huge outflows of refugees to neighboring countries, as well as large numbers of internally displaced per

sons. • The regime has shown no respect for the elections or the democratic process.

In the 1990 national elections, the National Democratic League won 82 per-
cent of the seats in parliament. Instead of peacefully transferring power, the
government nullified the election results.
The regime has ignored even the most basic needs of its people, such as
health care or adequate food. The regime has also done little to address the
growing HIV/AIDS problem. Instead, it is spending an estimated 40 percent
of its GDP on the military, which has doubled in size since the SPDC took
power in 1988.
The Burmese government has one of the poorest records in the world, in the
area of human trafficking. Burma was one of fifteen nations to be placed on
the State Department's Tier III list, which is defined as a country whose gov-
ernment does not comply with even the minimum standards of the Trafficking
Victims Protection Act and is not making significant efforts to bring itself in
to compliance. Of those fifteen countries, President Bush decided to impose
sanctions on three nations—Burma, North Korea and Cuba-because of their
lack of progress on human trafficking. In deciding to go forward with sanc-
tions, the Administration found that “the Burmese military is directly in-
volved in forced labor trafficking” and has an inadequate record of combating

trafficking for sexual exploitation. In addition to this dismal human rights record, there is another issue that merits close attention by the United States and the international community. There are reports that Burma is attempting to obtain missiles and other arms from North Korea. This is part of a pattern of closer ties between these two countries. In addition, Burma is attempting to buy a nuclear reactor from Russia. Nuclear technology and North Korean missiles in the hands of the tyrants of Rangoon is clearly a serious threat to the region and the entire world.

Before recognizing Mr. Sherman for an opening statement, I did want to thank the vice chairman of the subcommittee, Joe Pitts, for his interest in the plight of the Burmese people and his work and the work of his staff in preparation for this hearing.

I will now turn to Mr. Sherman, the Ranking Member on this subcommittee, for any remarks he may wish to make.

Mr. SHERMAN. Imagine that, I actually do.

Mr. GALLEGLY. Okay, we will go to Mr. Sherman, and then we will have a brief statement by Mr. Pitts, and anyone else that has a statement we will make it a part of the record of the hearing.

Mr. Sherman.

Mr. SHERMAN. I want to thank Chairman Gallegly and Leach for holding these hearings. Now we are actually having 2 days of hearings on the human rights situation in Burma, a country which has been denied democratic rule that it seemed so close to gaining a decade ago, and which has suffered under a cruel military dictatorship.

We use the name Burma, even though modern maps use the name Myanmar. We do this not because we are old-fashion, but because the name change was instituted by an illegitimate regime and we do not recognize it.

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