Manzullo: Burma's Release of 600 Political Prisoners 'Encouraging,' More Reforms Needed

From Rep. Don Manzulo (R., 16th District)…

[WASHINGTON] – Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia & the Pacific, issued the following statement today in response to Burma’s release of hundreds of political prisoners. Burma also announced it signed a peace treaty with the Karen National union, the largest ethnic minority group fighting the Burmese since the early days of Burma’s independence.

“Today’s release of approximately 600 political prisoners is an important step by the Burmese regime towards real reform. The release includes many high profile prisoners the U.S. Government has long urged Burma to release, such as the leading organizer of the failed Saffron Revolution,” Manzullo said. “While this is an encouraging step in the right direction, it is too early to discuss the removal of sanctions against the regime. Burma has a long history of taking one positive step forward followed by two negative steps backwards. I urge Burma’s President Thein Sein to move swiftly towards democratic reform by allowing the Burmese people to genuinely participate in the country’s political process.”

In June 2011, Chairman Manzullo held an unprecedented oversight hearing exploring the oppressive nature of the Burmese junta. The hearing featured testimony from Nobel Peace Prize winner and legendary opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time ever in Congress. Click here to view Ms. Suu Kyi’s 8-minute testimony.

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