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Groups Urge US To Recognize Genocide In Myanmar

Groups Urge US To Recognize Genocide In Myanmar


By Rachel Schultz

Human rights groups are calling on the U.S. government to reinstate sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) in response to recent military-led mass killings and other brutalities perpetrated against the largely Christian Kachin ethnic minority there, as well as the Rohingya.

In the wake of a string of crimes against the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority from Burma’s Rakhine State, the Burmese military has moved on to wreaking havoc on Kachin villages, churches, and communities. Officially, the U.S. considers the killings “ethnic cleansing,” which is one step away from genocide, and is being urged by groups such as the Faith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma and others to change this rating.

The U.S. State Department held a vigil in Foggy Bottom in Washington, D.C., last month to honor and draw attention to thousands of recent Burmese victims as part of its Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Speakers at the vigil included Nicolee Ambrose, spokeswoman for the Faith Coalition; Nadine Maenza, from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Mike Farris, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom; a Rohingya survivor; and a former Rohingya member of the Burmese Parliament. At the vigil, Ambrose read a statement from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

The House and Senate introduced bills last year to reinstate partial sanctions, but Burmese advocates want more teeth in these bills, which currently only target the Burmese military.

According to Ambrose, thousands have been killed, including women and small children, villages bombed and burned, and tens of thousands of Rohingya and Kachin refugees have been forced to flee to neighboring countries such as Bangladesh and China.

Read the full article at Homeland411.