(Senate - December 19, 2018)

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[Pages S7931-S7932]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. MARKEY (for himself, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Cardin, Ms. Collins, and Mr. 
Merkley) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
Committee on Foreign Relations.:

                              S. Res. 735

       Whereas, in recent decades, the Rohingya people have lost, 
     through systematic discrimination by Burmese national, state, 
     and local authorities, a range of civil and political rights, 
     including citizenship, and face barriers today such that they 
     have been rendered stateless;
       Whereas, beginning on August 25, 2017, the Government of 
     Burma military and security forces, as well as civilian mobs, 
     carried out widespread attacks, rapes, killings, and the 
     burning of villages throughout Rakhine State, resulting in 
     approximately 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh and 
     bringing the total Rohingya refugee population in Cox's Bazar 
     to over 900,000;
       Whereas international observers widely agree that Burma has 
     not made progress on the ``more crucial'' of the 88 
     recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission that 
     addresses the root causes of conflict and ensures the rights 
     and dignity of the Rohingya: freedom of movement, civil 
     documentation, and a transparent pathway to citizenship;
       Whereas, since the beginning of the violence in August 
     2017, humanitarian and media access to Rakhine State has been 
     extremely limited;
       Whereas Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were 
     arrested on December 12, 2017, for their work to report on 
     the Burmese military's violent campaign against the Rohingya;
       Whereas, on November 14, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence 
     said, ``This is a tragedy that has touched the hearts of 
     millions of Americans. The violence and persecution by 
     military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 
     Rohingya to Bangladesh is without excuse.'';
       Whereas, to date, though the refugee crisis is not of their 
     making, the Government of Bangladesh has accommodated the 
     rapid and massive influx of Rohingya refugees into Cox's 
       Whereas Burma's civilian government, led by State 
     Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, has yet 
     to take the necessary steps to address the violence directed 
     against the Rohingya, has failed to create the necessary 
     conditions for returns (including by actively impeding access 
     to northern Rakhine by UNHCR, UNDP, humanitarian 
     organizations, and journalists), and has failed to fully 
     implement recommendations from the Rakhine Advisory 
     Commission that address the root causes of conflict in 
       Whereas, on August 27, 2018, the United Nations 
     International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar released a 
     report stating that, ``The Mission concluded . . . that there 
     is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and 
     prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw chain of 
     command, so that a competent court can determine their 
     liability for genocide in relation to the situation in 
     Rakhine State.'';
       Whereas, on August 25, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 
     stated that ``[a] year ago, following deadly militant 
     attacks, security forces responded by launching abhorrent 
     ethnic cleansing of ethnic Rohingya in Burma,'' and 
     continued, ``The U.S. will continue to hold those responsible 
     accountable. The military must respect human rights for 
     Burma's democracy to succeed.'';
       Whereas, on August 17, 2018, the Department of the Treasury 
     announced sanctions on five Tatmadaw officers and two 
     Tatmadaw units for human rights abuses in Rakhine, Kachin, 
     and Shan states;
       Whereas, on September 24, 2018, the Department of State 
     released a report entitled ``Documentation of Atrocities in 
     Northern Rakhine State'' that stated the military ``targeted 
     civilians indiscriminately and often with extreme brutality'' 
     and that the violence in northern Rakhine State was 
     ``extreme, large-scale, widespread and seemingly geared 
     toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the 
     Rohingya residents'' and that the ``scope and scale of the

[[Page S7932]]

     military's operations indicate that they were well-planned 
     and coordinated'';
       Whereas, on November 29, 2018, the Public International Law 
     and Policy Group, which was contracted by the Department of 
     State to collect evidence for the Department's report, issued 
     its own report that concluded ``there is a reasonable basis 
     to conclude that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and 
     genocide were committed against the Rohingya population'';
       Whereas the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and 
     Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed at Paris December 
     9, 1948, declares that genocide ``means any of the following 
     acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in 
     part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as 
     such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious 
     bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) 
     Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life 
     calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole 
     or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births 
     within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the 
     group to another group'' and that ``[t]he following acts 
     shall be punishable: (a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit 
     genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit 
     genocide; (d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in 
     genocide''; and
       Whereas the United States Holocaust Memorial announced on 
     December 3, 2018, that ``there is compelling evidence that 
     Burmese authorities have intentionally sought to destroy the 
     Rohingya people because of their ethnic and religious 
     identity,''and concluded there was compelling evidence 
     genocide was committed: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) condemns the atrocities and displacement inflicted on 
     Burma's Rohingya population by the Burmese military and 
     security forces since August 2017;
       (2) calls on the Secretary of State, based on credible 
     evidence, to make a formal determination on whether the 
     crimes committed since August 2017, amount to genocide;
       (3) commends the role of the Government of Bangladesh in 
     receiving Rohingya refugees to date and urges the Government 
     of Bangladesh to continue allowing the full participation of 
     UNHCR and human rights organization in accessing refugee 
       (4) calls upon Facebook and other social media platforms to 
     take the appropriate steps to guard against the dissemination 
     of hate speech exploiting ethnic divisions in Burma;
       (5) calls on the Government of Burma to immediately release 
     Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo;
       (6) urges the President to impose additional sanctions on 
     senior members of Burma's military and security forces, 
     including Burmese military owned companies and entities, who 
     are responsible for genocide and human rights abuses against 
     the Rohingya; and
       (7) calls upon the President to maintain the status of the 
     United States as a top international donor to the 
     humanitarian response in Burma and Bangladesh and to submit a 
     budget request for fiscal year 2020 that reflects that 
     longstanding United States commitment.