Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H. Con. Res. 90, which condemns the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma and calls for an end to the attacks in and an immediate restoration of humanitarian access to the state of Rakhine in Burma. Congresswoman McCollum visited Burma and Bangladesh on a Congressional fact-finding mission last month. Video of Congresswoman McCollum’s remarks is here. Congresswoman McCollum’s full remarks are below:
“Mr. Speaker, last month I visited Burma and Bangladesh on a Congressional fact-finding mission. Our visits to refugee camps and our conversations with survivors made it clear that the persecution of the Rohingya people in Burma’s Rakhine State is a severe humanitarian crisis that demands robust American leadership.
“This resolution is an important first step in demonstrating that Congress will not tolerate human rights abuses against Rohingyas. As our delegation saw, there is a path forward. The Burmese government and military must fully implement the recommendations of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s advisory commission.
“Burma must work with Bangladesh and the UN for the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees with guarantees of a safe return. A fair process to allow Rohingyas to apply for and secure citizenship must be established.
“Finally, there must be an independent investigation to ensure accountability for the atrocities and abuses that have taken place.
“Mr. Speaker, I saw people suffering in both Burma and Bangladesh. They are crying out for action. The United States and the international community must help them secure justice.”