August 8th marks the beginning of the 1988 popular uprising against military rule.
One of the four pro-democracy activists recently executed by the military, Kyaw Min Yu (Ko Jimmy), was only 19 when he played a role in organizing protests and was imprisoned for the first time.
Let’s mark this anniversary of 8/8/88 by insisting that our senators stand up for democracy advocates in by passing the BURMA Act.
All eyes are on the United States as we urge President Biden to cut off the military junta’s source of oil dollars. Myanmar earns close to US$1 billion a year from natural gas sales. Much of this money flows to the junta through Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
The European Union has already sanctioned MOGE. This past week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, Senator Bob Menendez (D, New Jersey) and Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R, Kentucky), called on President Biden to impose sanctions on MOGE. It’s time for the U.S. Senate to pass the BURMA Act and impose more sanctions on the Myanmar military.
We need your help to ensure that the Senate moves the BURMA Act through a key procedural hurdle. If you contact your senators this week, we may well secure the BURMA Act’s passage through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and show the Myanmar military that it faces serious consequences for its actions.
For the BURMA Act to pass the Senate, it first needs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to schedule the bill for a markup in the committee. For this to happen, we need to tell our senators to call on the SFRC Chair (Senator Bob Menendez) and the Ranking Member (Senator James Risch) to include the BURMA Act in the next committee markup meeting.
The BURMA Act will, not only sanction and hold accountable the Myanmar military, but also provide support to Burmese civil society and much needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. We’ve already successfully pressed the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the BURMA Act, which it did by unanimous consent. Now let’s demand that our U.S. senators do the same.
Please share this action with your friends and on your social media with this short link: https://bit.ly/BurmaBill
Please follow up your message with phone calls and emails to the staff of your U.S. senators.
We have a new resources to make this easier for you.
We’ve created an online listing of key staff of every member of the U.S. Senate. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/USSenateMyanmar
If you have extra time, please make a phone call and follow up email to the staff of your U.S. senators. Just follow the steps below! Sometimes just one call or direct email from you can make the difference.
Follow up #1: make a phone call
- Click here to check if your U.S. senators are already a co-sponsor of the Senate “Burma Act of 2021” (S.2937). (If your senator is a co-sponsor, thank them. We don’t do that enough!)
- Find the names, phone number, and emails of key staff of your U.S. senators here: https://bit.ly/USSenateMyanmar
- When you reach their office, ask to be connected directly to the staffer, either in person on their voicemail.
- Simply tell the staffer – in person or on their voicemail – that you want your senator to contact the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair (Senator Bob Menendez) and Ranking Member (Senator James Risch) to ask for a scheduled markup of the BURMA Act.
- Leave your name, number, and city of residence to indicate that you live in the state.
- Email us at [email protected] and tell us how your calls went. (And please tell us of any changes in your senators’ staffers.)
Follow up #2: email your senator’s staffer
You may wish to use a succinct and direct subject line such as: “Please take action to pass the BURMA Act “
Start your message with a mention of where you live in the state. Feel free to include a sentence or two on why you care about human rights and Myanmar in particular. Please use or adapt the following text in your email. Please blind copy (bcc) us on your email at [email protected].
I ask that you help pass the BURMA Act.
Specifically, I ask that my senator contact the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair (Senator Bob Menendez) and Ranking Member (Senator James Risch) to ask for a scheduled markup of the BURMA Act.
Congress must show leadership in holding the Myanmar military accountable for its coup d’etat and its brutal crimes against humanity. Congress must also show support for Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and its democratic and multi-ethnic new National Unity Government (NUG).
Please write back and tell me if my senator has contacted the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to call for a scheduled markup of the BURMA Act. Thank you.
Follow up #3: Do you want to improve your lobbying of your Members of Congress? Every week, we host two training and discussion sessions on Zoom to show you how we can best lobby our Members of Congress. They are held on Sundays at 6:00 pm US EDT and Tuesdays at 9:00 pm US EDT. Simply join the Zoom call using this short link: https://www.tinyurl.com/CallCongress4Burma. You can also email Mike with any questions at [email protected]
Follow up #4: Join our lobbying efforts. We can support you with setting up meetings by Zoom with your Congressional offices. Again, contact Mike Haack, from the Campaign for a New Myanmar, to take part of that at [email protected].
Just one meeting, email, or phone call from a constituent can make a difference. Your Members of Congress need to know that you want Congress to act. The people of Myanmar can’t wait any longer.