Transcript: Rohrabacher's statement on Burma

Apr 20, 2010
Floor Speeches

Washington, Apr 20, 2010 - I rise to draw attention to the on-going plight of the people of Burma, now referred to as Myanmar. Shortly after the Second World War, Burma was granted its Independence from Great Britain. With Democratic institutions in place, rich natural resources, and an educated population, it was expected that Burma would become a wealthy and stable country. Sadly, that country, with so much potential, has been dominated by a corrupt tyrant, and despite its vast wealth its people suffer in abject poverty.

Even worse, the people of Burma are actually losing their country to a foreign power. A Chinese Powergrab is not only depleting and stealing Burma’s natural resources, but slowly and surely, Burma is being turned into a subservient province of Beijing. 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.

The 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. If Burma is to be saved there needs to be reconciliation between the Burmans and those ethnic peoples, who make up half of that country’s population.

In a decades old insurgency, the ethnic fighters have been the primary opposition to Burma’s iron fisted dictatorship. Urban Democratic leaders like Aung Sun Suu Kyi, and other Patriotic Burmans have been beaten down and repressed. These two elements must come together as one, under a banner promising respect for the rights and traditions of the various people who make up that wonderfully diverse nation.

An opposition coalition, must be joined by patriots in the military, professional soldiers who seek to remake their army into a respected defender of the nation, not a tool for corruption and foreign domination by China. It is time for leaders in the army to join the people and build a new prosperous and free, and yes independent Burma. In a blink of an eye Burma, Myanmar, can reclaim its sovereignty, and be put on a path to national reconciliation, democracy, and prosperity. The military in a new Burma would be a respected institution, as are the professional armies in democratic nations throughout the world, not a tool of foreign domination and repression.

The time has come to choose, let the Burmese, the ethnic peoples of Burma, the business and military leaders who long for legitimate and honest government, and all other patriots, have the courage to step forward, join together and retake the country. The time is now. This is the great opportunity. Do not let this moment pass by. The world will celebrate with you as you recapture your Nation.