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Former congressman investigating rights in Burma fears crackdown on coup protests: 'I'm terrified'
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WORLD NEWS:
Former congressman investigating rights in Burma fears crackdown on coup demonstrations: ‘I’m frightened’

The last time Burma’s military toppled a chosen federal government, Tom Andrews was discovering his method in Washington as a freshly chosen congressman from Maine. 

“I got to go to Congress when I won, and they went to prison,” he informed Fox News

Thirty-one years later on, Burma’s army has actually taken control once again, and Andrews is an unique rapporteur with the United Nations, investigating human rights in Burma. He enjoyed, astonished, as the military swept in and jailed numerous legislators on Feb. 1. 

BURMA SECURITY FORCES CONTINUE DEMONSTRATION INTIMIDATION, United States EMBASSY LICENSES VOLUNTARY EVACUATION

“I have to admit, it was a surprise to me,” Andrews states. “We saw the warning signs. There was lots of concern about what might happen. But I was advising people, look, I really don’t think it’s going to happen because the military wrote the constitution. They negotiated themselves an extremely good deal. They have enormous wealth and power. 

“So, with all of those benefits, I stated, appearance, it simply does not appear to make good sense that the armed force would be offering all that up, running the risk of a coup, no matter what they believed may come out of it.” 

Andrews believes the army is now receiving a surprise of its own, in the form of large daily protests. From bodybuilders to ballroom dancers, tens of thousands of people have hit the streets to condemn the takeover, attending colorful and largely peaceful rallies featuring singing, chanting and three-finger salutes of defiance adopted from the “Appetite Games” novels. 

“I have actually never ever seen [Burma] so unified,” Andrews says. “I’ve seen monks strolling with Muslim clerics. I’ve seen building employees strolling with lenders, strolling with instructors and healthcare employees. It’s actually amazing.”

BURMA POLICE FILE NEW CHARGE AGAINST AUNG SAN SUU KYI

But Burma has a history of bloody military putdowns, and Andrews worries about what comes next. Last week, a 19-year-old woman was shot in the head, seemingly struck by a stray police bullet. Doctors say she is not expected to survive. 

“My worry is violence: that we will see indiscriminate shooting into crowds; that we’ll see substantial varieties of individuals pass away at the hands of the armed force. That’s what I’m frightened of since we’ve seen it take place in the past.” 

A former Democratic lawmaker, Andrews welcomes President Biden’s decision to impose sanctions on Burmese military leaders but says more penalties should follow: “We require to follow that up now with extra actions, both diplomatic and – as it ends up being clearer and clearer this is essential – increased, harder financial sanctions.” 

Burmese military leaders were already under U.S. sanctions for a deadly crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims, described by the State Department as “ethnic cleaning” in 2018. Among the lawmakers now under arrest is the country’s leader since 2015, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi – whose own reputation has been tarnished in recent years over the Rohingya crackdown. 

The junta says its takeover – which has brought an abrupt halt to Burma’s fragile process toward democracy – was necessary because Suu Kyi’s government had failed to investigate fraud claims in elections her party won in a landslide; Burma’s election commission has dismissed those allegations. 

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Despite his fears of bloodshed, Andrews believes Burma’s protesters are determined to do all they can to win back freedom and democracy. 

“They are revealing persistence, they’re revealing imagination, and they’re revealing a good deal of guts in withstanding this military routine.

“If I were a betting person, I’d be betting on that.” 

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Hmm. yes i understand the
question, you know it's been at least
15 years since I've been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
Excuse me, do you remember
where you read about this ?
Are you kidding !?
of course I can, it was here
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WORLD NEWS: Former congressman investigating rights in Burma fears crackdown on coup protests: 'I'm terrified'

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