Skip to main content

tv   U.S.- Myanmar Relations  CSPAN  October 25, 2017 7:47am-9:22am EDT

7:47 am
you can see this week's session again sunday night at nine eastern on c-span purple more information go to c-span.org and click on series to view every program we have erred from the british house of commons since october, 1989, and we invite your comments about the prime minister's questions. >> this is lois, executive director with the texas book festival and we are super excited to have the book festival in and around the state capital in downtown austin. we will be welcoming over 300 authors come over 150 panels and we are expecting a huge turnout of 50000 saturday and sunday. >> join a book tv for the texas book festival live from austin, saturday and sunday november 4, and 5, on c-span2 and for more information visit our website at book tv.org.
7:48 am
>> state to permit officials testified us relations before the senate foreign relations committee focusing on mistreatment of the muslim minority population and the resulting refugee crisis in neighboring bangladesh. this is about an hour and a half. >> foreign relations committee will come to order. i want to thank each of you for being here. we thank you. timely. in 2009 the obama administration shifted the direction of us farm a policy taking a leap of faith that an approach combining engagement and pressure would help usher in democratic reform or sanctions alone had failed. many were skeptical of such a shift the 2010
7:49 am
elections provided an opportunity to test the credibility of a more proactive engagement approach. in the ensuing years the united states worked to balance engagement with military junta in the democratic grassroots movement. undoubtably this engagement strategy had a positive effect on the trajectory of their democratic reforms including the 2015 election that brought the democratic opposition to power. while the money 15 election was historic, bar must democratic transition has been a work in progress. along with its complex ethnic and cultural hiss -- history the burmese military controls key ministries in large swaths of the economy which is why there was concern in 2016 when the obama administration unilaterally rolled back most of the restrictions on us engagement with burma. a year into this new policy the question is was this too soon.
7:50 am
the burmese economy remains weak with projected flows of us investment not materializing and human rights regulations are enticed, structural reform has not progressed and progress is stagnant. in recent weeks we've witnessed the appalling images of atrocities committed by the burmese military against the rohingya minority. hundreds of many women and children systematically killed, hundreds of thousands of people fled as their homes a burn. we continue to hear the truly heartbreaking accounts of human suffering. international frustration and the burmese government's failure to protect against such atrocities given decades of hope the state department the fact a leader. of cores, our first priority must remain
7:51 am
humanitarian situations including half a million men women and children who fled to bangladesh. also think we should not shy away from an honest assessment of the direction of us policy towards burma. last year i raised concerns about her government's treatment of the rohingya, one of the most vulnerable populations to human traffickers around the world and i publicly shared my shock and dismay at her dismissiveness of these concerns and an attitude she has maintained even in the face of an bolding humanitarian crisis amounting international criticism. her failure to acknowledge the seemingly systematic campaign of brutality about a burmese military continues to undermine the civilian government and vermis democratic transition as a whole. the united states should not abandon burma took however, it may be time for a policy adjustment. hope to have a candid conversation today about
7:52 am
the trajectory of current us policy towards burma including the world congress can play an encouraging democratic reform and addressing humanitarian efforts. want to thank you again for being here. want to take i think it's mark lee's birthday today, is that right? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> i can tell you were not paying attention to my opening statement and i want to know-- i understand you are getting ready to go to burma? >> we hope to put that together and i would like to invite all the members of the committee to join us. >> distinguish ranking member? >> to senator merkley, first of all happy birthday and you really note where to go decelerating birthday. we appreciate your willingness to take that trip. mr. chairman, thank you so much for holding this hearing. now it's a burma. another country that's committing ethnic
7:53 am
cleansing. another country under the watch of the international community that is allowed to perpetrate an atrocity. make no mistake about it atrocities are taking place in burma. we have humanitarian crisis. we have perpetrators who expect immunity and there's no reason to doubt that in fact that may in fact occur. this is ethnic cleansing i know that the administration is evaluating that as we hold this hearing. ethnic cleansing is defined by the united nations commission on experts rendering an area by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from an area. half of the population of the rohingya's in burma have left.
7:54 am
600,000 now, 1.2 million there's been a systematic burning of their villages. this didn't just starts. it's been a campaign that's gone on for a long time, since 1982 even though they have been residents for generations. they are denied freedom of movement, freedom of education, healthcare. this has been a systematic efforts to destroy an ethnic community and once again, we see this happening and once again the expectation is, well, it's our way and we will just let it go along. we got to the outraged about what's happening. we need to see an international community come together and say, no, we will not let this continue.
7:55 am
that we will hold those accountable that are responsible, that we will provide the humanitarian need immediately, that we will stop this type of conduct in civilized society. it cannot occur. yes, i think it's genocide i know there will be some discussion about whether it's genocide are not. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. that's what's happening. they are trying to destroy the population. people arguing intent. what else are they doing it for other than the purity of their country? and their lack of tolerance for a minority population. for decades the burmese government has oppressed the routine got people. that the fact and they had deliberately failed
7:56 am
to integrate the population into the general population. as the commissioner of human rights correctly stated the decades of persistence and systematic human rights violations have almost certainly contributed to the nurturing of violent extremism with everyone ultimately losing. they complained about extremism, they are creating it. in my opinion we are witnessing a military sponsored ethnic cleansing campaign on the rohingya and it will take significant engagement from the international community at the highest level in partnership with the burmese civilian government to address and hold perpetrators accountable for these horrific acts. unfortunately, the rohingya price-- crisis is not the only challenge burma faces. the burmese military continues to hold significant influence of politics in the economy. the peace process was sought to end the
7:57 am
long-standing civil war the country has stalled. there are reports of human rights issues such as human trafficking, free speech infringement and political repression the chairman is correct, the state counselor was here. she's an impressive person, but she is not taking on the challenge. she's not responding to the crisis in her own country. the military controls burma today. that's unacceptable and that's why we imposed sanctions because of the military control. sanction relief was given for what? so people can be ethnically cleansed it? i grew the chairman. we need to not only reevaluate, we need to have a policy with regards to burma that we understand that addresses these human rights violations, that reevaluates our position as far as having normal relations with burma and
7:58 am
the release of our sanctions. the president will be attending the summit shortly. will he be mentioning the burma human rights is a top priority during this trip? i certainly hope so. mr. chairman, i do want to complement the bangladesh government for keeping the borders open. it's been one bright spot, but there is the humanitarian crisis of the refugees in bangladesh and we all have to respond to, so i'm looking forward to hearing from our witnesses. i think each of them. they all have very distinguished records and i have great confidence in their expertise on the subject , but i do notice when the subject is important as this it would be nice to have at least one witness that was confirmed by the senate that it brings that degree of importance from the administration on this subject.
7:59 am
lastly, i would ask consent that numerous statements from and ngos about the situation be made part of the record. >> without objection and thank you for your strong opening statement you weren't i were together and vice president biden's home and he was very adamant that the country is dismissive of this whole group of people. >> especially on the trafficking issue which i remember you brought up. no reality at all. >> first witness is mr. patrick murphy deputy assistant secretary for the bureau east asian and the department of state. cut thank you for your service. second witness is mr. mark estrella deputy assistant secretary for the bureau of population refugee, migration at the department of state. thank you for your service. third witness in this kate's theory-- kate theory.
8:00 am
that was the prettiest smile. i did that correctly. acting deputy assistant administrator for the bureau of democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance at the agency for international development. thank you for your service. if each of you could summarize in about five minutes. .. from a decades long struggle to defy authoritarian rule and to transition to democratic society. however, a devastating american crisis has exacerbated the suffering of ethnic and other populations and threatened this otherwise peaceful transition. as do other long-standing challenges that the elected
8:01 am
government authority, sibling authority inherited a mere 16 months ago. although the new government is committed to ending complex and approving the prospects for all the diverse populations of burma, today's hearing illuminates the fragility of this democratic transition. on august 25, militant attacks on burmese security forces and subsequent violence and massive displacement locations by the militaries disproportionate response have created a crisis that demands our undivided attention. our efforts seek to end the violence comes about the displaced and the return home, thin accountability for atrocities, and address the real conditions that sparked this post recent colossal population movement of over 600,000 people to bangladesh and 700,000 internally. president trump has discussed the situation with other leaders
8:02 am
to secretary tillerson called state counselor to reaffirm support for the emerging democracy and to urge action on this crisis. vice president pence denounced the militaries heavy-handed response at the u.n., where ambassador haley called for an international role in ending the violence. our ambassador in burma has engaged government and military leaders i visited in burma since the start of this crisis including we kind state and met with government and military figures and displaced populations. we have consulted with many countries including their neighbors. our collective message to burma stakeholders is clear, and the violence, , protect civilians, expansion managing immediate access, hold of those guilty accountable, repatriate safely those of the lead, and cooperate with the international community. community. we've also encourage collaboration between, and bangladesh, and burma is coronation with u.n. agencies to
8:03 am
overcome mistrust and missed opportunities for international help. although the crisis persists our engagement is yielding some results. on october 12, they laid out goals for repatriation and humanitarian assistance, resettlement, and peace and equipment. we are engaging with her government to implement its commitment to reach these goals. burma recently sent a senior official the bangladesh to discuss return of refugees to burma, and more senior contact is scheduled this week. a top u.n. official visit burma last week to address the human response to the humanitarian and human rights aspects of the crisis. i travel to singapore, thailand and vietnam, , other senior u.s. official engaged across the region, building support for constructive diplomatic engagement. we welcome the decision to activate its own humanitarian assistance mechanism for we kind
8:04 am
state. as we engage burmese stakeholders and others, we know a prerequisite to repatriation is assurances of security. accordingly, the department of state has identified and announced new and ongoing actions to pursue accountability for those of committed violence. including among other measures, suspending travel waivers for military leaders, assessing authorities to consider economic options available to target individuals, associated with atrocities. finding that all units and officers involved in operations in northern we kind state are pursuant to the law and eligible for use assistant programs. rescinding invitations for burmese security leaders to attend u.s. sponsored events, maintaining an embargo on military sales, consulting on accountability options at the u.n., the human rights council and other venues. pressing for access for the
8:05 am
fact-finding mission and exploring accountability mechanisms under u.s. law, including global magnets targeted sanctions. our immediate efforts must focus on the crisis failed to address the long-term causes instability and we kind state will only result in a future reply of this tragedy. it is best cushion we support burma and implementing the recommendations of the re-kind advisory commission led by former u.n. secretary kofi annan to a desk under development, shortcomings and services, access to justice and a citizenship process for all people in rekind state. an emerging democracy of 54 million people burma is located between china and india, the country success is important to us. to burma's diverse populations and to the region. burma's longer-term viability depends on civilian control over the armed forces and other reforms to end violence and the
8:06 am
potential for international terrorism. the very ingredients of say with the current crisis and other ongoing conflicts. we must also find ways to support those courageous voices within government and society who seek a better future. in doing so we look to partner with congress on burma as we done across successive administrations for decades. mr. chairman, we think this committee for its leadership and bipartisanship collaboration. thank you. >> thank you very much. mr. storella. >> chairman corker, ranking member cardin, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting us to this important hearing i'm grateful for the opportunity to update you on have used government is targeting life-saving humanitarian assistance and on the challenges we face ahead. the violence in re-kind state continues to devastate vulnerable populations within burma and cause families, most women and children, to flee for their lives.
8:07 am
the attack on august 25 auguste violent reaction of that profit more than 6000 people to flee bangladesh brings the total number of rohingya in bangladesh to roughly 1 million people, and forced for the displacement inside the state itself. the magnitude and speed of this displacement make it one of the most dramatic you managing crises in decades. in burma, our number one human urgent priority is getting access to those in need in re-kind state. they have committed publicly bradley to provide humectant assistance to all communities and effective areas to the red cross movement. the movement at stress to the burmese government that it will not be able to fully meet communiqué needs of the u.n. agencies and international organizations and nongovernmental organizations will also need operational space. we and the size of all opportunities to burmese officials at all levels of government the requirement to
8:08 am
allow you managing assistance to reach those in need. we continue to press the government and the military both publicly and privately to in the violence, to protect the security of all communities, and to allow rohingya refugees to voluntarily returned to their home after burmese authorities ensure they can do so safely. we greatly appreciate the government for opening its doors to those fling the violence, many of whom arrived after walking for days in need of food, water, shelter and medical care. the monsoon season has exacerbated the situation as flooding has made a delivery even more challenging. in every meeting with bangladesh officials, we thank them for a long refugees to cross into bangladesh and we urge them to uphold humanitarian principles while balancing their own security concerns. in addition to our diplomatic
8:09 am
engagement the united states is provided you managing assistance through our u.n. and other humanitarian partners to help vulnerable populations affected by the state of violence. the u.n. issued a revised appeal with an estimated $434 million acquired for emergency response in bangladesh to meet need only through the end of february 2018. thanks to the sport of this congress, and fy '17 the united states contributed nearly $104 million in assistance to displaced populations in burma, and for refugees from burma throughout the region. of this funding the department of state contribution totaled nearly $76 million, three-quarters of the total u.s. humanitarian response, including nearly $34 million in emergency systems to address this latest crisis. this allowed partners on the grant to respond immediately as thousands were arriving daily to the already established and
8:10 am
newly established camps in bangladesh. our contributions provide life-saving assistance, food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and core relief items both inside burma and in bangladesh. we also target assistance for victims of gender based violence and particularly for vulnerable children. yesterday in geneva 35 countries pledged $344 million to meet the ongoing need. the united states is not carrying this burden alone. in responding to this crisis the state departments primary concern our protection and achieving meaningful durable solutions for those of been displaced including a chance to go home again in safety and dignity when conditions permit. the u.s. government you mention assistance provides an important lifeline until this possibility becomes a reality. mr. chairman, ranking member cardin, , we're grateful for the
8:11 am
generosity of congress and the american people will make our assistance possible. we will make the best possible use of it. thank you and happy to answer your questions. thank you, thank you for your work. ms. somvongsiri. >> yes. chairman corker, ranking member cardin, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. the violence in northern re-kind state as result in massive displacement in the mente needs in burma and neighboring anklet desperate this is imagine crisis that not only imperils the lives of thousands but also marks the decision point for their lyrical military leadership with the whole world watching. in response to the crisis usaid is providing assistance on both sides of the burma bangladesh border. if you managing relief is in addition to ongoing development assistance support for civil so, good governance, economic development and the countries challenging peace process. through these programs are working to address the underlying conditions and
8:12 am
fragility that helped create the cycle of violence including this most recent crisis. we are deeply concerned about the horrific human rights abuses as we discussed more than 600,000 people have fled the recent violence. given the enormity of this influx, , start challenges reman to adequately respond. the people playing over to bangladesh, many women and children arrive as you heard only with what they could carry. they require urgent life-saving assistance including safe drinking water, sanitation facility, emergency food assistance and shelter. inside re-kind state is also an unknown number of internally displaced persons in need of assistance. in fy 2017 the united states provided $104 million in humectant assistance. for the displaced in burma and the region including in bangladesh. the foreign disaster assistance and food for peace the agency provides an early 28 million of
8:13 am
that assistant and we can expect continuous bond in fiscal year 2018. in burma our main challenge is not the lack of resources but a lack of access. since the august 25 attacks, many of these states parties were forced to suspend the work due to the military security operations in rakhine state. insecurity and government restrictions have been humanitarian from reaching people in need. false and misleading rumors about the rohingya spread by government have contributed at all told. to pick we continue to call upon all parties to allow unhindered humanitarian access and what archie government to allow media and human rights monitors to access and assess the afflicted area. the united states tested by vulnerable communities in burma for decades. the countries emerging from isolation and establishment of a formal usaid mission in 2012 has allowed us to expand our
8:14 am
development programs to more effectively support those in burma who seek a greater freedom, prosperity and dignity. today, usaid works to strengthen democratic institutions, foster a national reconciliation peace, improve the lives of people in burma by increasing access to better health services and economic opportunities. usaid can to support an inclusive peace process and support civil society. let me be frank. the path we face it is no means an easy one of the development challenges in burma are complex in deep rooted. during this time of crisis remained remains in use governments interest to continue our support for burma's democratic transition while addressing the root causes of conflict in the kind and other parts of burma. the support is critical to helping the civilian government of burma to sustain the transition and deliver on the dividends of democracy that the people of burma expect.
8:15 am
the latest violence exacerbated existing human rights and humanitarian crisis impacting the lives of thousands. we must be honest and forthright in the assessment of the situation, and clear on what we expect as humanitarians and as americans. in the long term our development efforts must continue to address the underlying drivers of the violence, but in the immediate term, till the conflict is resolved we shall remain resolute in our efforts to alleviate the immeasurable suffering of the rohingya and all affected community spirit we call on all stakeholders to in the violence and seek a lasting resolution to this conflict. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you all for your testimony and i will turn to senator cardin. >> i also thank you for your testimony. if i could just get a yes or no answer on your personal views on whether what's happening there is ethnic cleansing. i just in the administration is going to process but i'd like to
8:16 am
get your view what you believe this is ethnic cleansing or not. just yes or no would be helpful. >> if you'll if you permit justo slightly more -- >> no. >> my bosses at said it appears to be ethnic cleansing. i am -- >> i think clarity is important here. asking your view. >> unfortunately i'm not in position to make the determination. you are correct when referring to a process to lead to that determination. in the meantime we conclude that threat than atrocities, massive displacement, depopulation of villages that cause us great concern. therefore, we're pursuing all avenues for accountability. hypothetically, a determination of ethnic cleansing will not change our pursuit of full accountability. >> could you answer yes or no whether you believe it's ethnic cleansing? >> senator, i worked in humanitarian affairs often on for 30 years, and i have
8:17 am
witnessed over that time terrible things that have happened. in this case we've seen so-called clearing operations that have resulted in the clearing of 603,000 people from their homes to a foreign country and probably 100,000 people from inside burma to other displacement. i'm not in a position like my colleague to characterize it today but i do want to say that to me this very close to resemble some of the worst kinds of atrocities that icing over the course of a long career. >> would you try a yes or no recs maybe i can get one out of three. >> unfortunately. the role of our organization is not to define legally what is happening. the role of our organization speak i ask your personal opinion. >> i'm not in a position to offer my -- >> i think this is one of the problems we have. clarity is important. this is ethnic cleansing, it's pretty clear and if we don't say it, it will happen again and again and again. now, i'm for the efforts for
8:18 am
stopping the violence and i support all the international effort for the american assistance for those that are in bangladesh and those who are displaced in burma. i'm for pursuing the peace process the people will not be further killed. absolutely. it's got to be our top priority. but if we don't do something to in this cycle of violence -- to end -- with impunity it's going to happen again. next country will do it. mr. murphy, appreciate your view that you want to impose sanctions against the military or use magnets key which is a bill that i'm very proud about. but where are the generals being held accountable criminally for what they have done in murdering people, raping people, burning villages? what is the accountability of those responsible for directing this?
8:19 am
>> senator, agree with you. accountable is a vitally important speedy what is the united states doing? >> as i said in my statement we finance measure to pursue accountability including the consultation with the very organizations that have those tools available to them. united nations, the u.n. human rights council among others. we're taking measures are self but we have to admit we are very limited influence and leverage. we don't have a normal relationship with this military. we haven't for decades. the process of lifting sanctions we have isolated restrictions on the military that remain in place. we will take additional measures as i said to restrict travel here, to explore measures how we can sanction individuals found to be accountable. that's an important i i think h forward for us to take. >> who is in charge in burma >> who is in charge in burma is it the civilian or military?
8:20 am
>> is an excellent question and the answer of course like burma itself is very republican. this is a power-sharing arrangement. the civilian elected government -- >> who is responsible for the atrocities that are taking place now? is it the civilian or military? who is primarily responsible? >> there are many contributors to violence in human rights abuses. the security forces hold the greatest responsibility for protecting civilians, and they have failed. there is vigilante action, civilians conducting violence against other civilians. the rohingya militants -- >> are you talking about the military? >> in some cases there acting in concert with the gritty forces can yesterday and other cases independently. >> do we make a mistake relaxing the sanctions because burma was running away from a military government? >> i think the decision to lift the national emergency was a reflection that sanctions had
8:21 am
run their course in attempted to achieve a transition -- >> your talking about imposing new sanctions. >> we're talking targeted, targeted measures jewel -- >> military come you that targeted. that's an institution of its government. i would agree with you to talk about holding people criminally responsible for their criminal activities, i don't see that coming. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you very much. senator young. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to our panelists for your attendance you today. i agree with the ranking member, we need to speak with moral clarity on this matter. the united states clearly needs to lead. ambassador haley, i was really proud of her, she assessed the burmese government is conducting a quote bruegel sustained campaign to cleanse the country, cleanse the country of an ethnic minority. the u.n. high commissioner for human rights and referred to the situation in burma is a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
8:22 am
i hope our government, understand your physicians and where in the course of assessment internally, i hope our government speaks with moral clarity on this matter. we often refer to the international community, and the international community some have characterized as kind of an oxymoron phrase. right now if the u.s. doesn't lead i don't think the international community is going to end up in a position where they are not only condemning this sort of behavior but acting boldly to address the needs of the affected populations. there are a nihilistic nations, are those who will passively stand by and watch the sorts of actions continue unless the united states leads on these and other matters. so thank you to my colleague, senator merkley, he worked with model the letter we sent up to ambassador haley regarding this
8:23 am
very issue of ethnic cleansing in rohingya some days ago. 201 of my colleagues signed on to it including the ranking member. at each of you reviewed that letter? okay, thank you. i saw an affirmative nod from each. we called on the burmese government to permit the safe act tax to journalist, the u.n. factfinders anti-humanitarians. and secretary murphy and mr. storella ein eine noted in your testing indicates the number one you managing priority is to gain access by humanitarians to those in need in the rakhine state. ms. somvongsiri, you called the lack of access the main challenge, and you say that due to restrictions imposed by the burmese authorities, that access is not happening. why is the lack of access to affected populations the main
8:24 am
challenge? what is the burmese precise role in entering that access? >> senator, thank you for your question and for the letter from you and so many of the other members. highlighting the issue of access for journalists and humanitarians is absolutely essential and thank you for including that in your letter, very constructive overall. the reason it's the main challenge is because right now let me divider, there is northern recounts penn center reconstitute what happened with the rakhine state we seem very that was deeply affected, the only international ngos have access is the red cross movement. they have very limited abilities. that said so themselves that the camera provides fully the ring to support that is needed. our partners, need to stand by and already provide that support to the affected populations but cannot do so. in central rakhine state is more ability to provide access and help but is also very limited.
8:25 am
we have been able to restore some of that service but still operating at only about 50%. the question about the role of the burmese government and it specifically it's the burmese government authorities are the ones who provide the permits that are necessary to access these areas and they have not given it. another complicating factor is even when there are travel permits their successive layers of bureaucratization, planning, work plans and also high levels of ethnic tension in those areas that make it very difficult to deliver aid. if i could just add one more thing on the boards of access not just on the communiqué inside the from journalists and media, exactly to the point unaccountability. in were able to access these areas and see and document what is happening, that makes accountability in the future very difficult. so that's what we as a community organization continue to call for an appreciate your support of that. >> i got 30 seconds left. i do want to commend the
8:26 am
administration. i mean, the administration is generally spoken forcefully about the need for humanitarians to gain access, and on the diplomatic front i feel like thus far they have been pretty start. you did indicate in your prepared statement that the burmese government commitment to provide humanitarian access was encouraging and to me i'm not take encouraged. neither gestures or statements nor some futile actions at this point are enough. we need bold action. i hope each of you will communicate that to your burmese counterparts every time you're interacting with them. i will be visiting with the representative from the burmese government tomorrow. i will certainly be delivering that strong message, and thanks again for your service. >> thank you. senator merkley. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for holding this hearing because i think it's so
8:27 am
important that has a very bright spotlight on this horrendous situation. i will be happy to use the term that our representatives from the executive branch are not willing to use. this ethnic cleansing, 288 rohingya villages destroyed and not one word from our president. thousands of children slaughtered. not one word from president trump thousands of women raped. thousands of men and women shot as they fled villages. villages surrounded and starved, 600,000 refugees, and not one word from our president. for this horrific situation. are you recommending to the president he speak loudly and forcefully on this issue, if each of you could tell me yes or no? >> senator, as i noted, the president has spoken with a number of leaders about the situations. the president has not made a public statement. are you recommending that he take a forceful public statement
8:28 am
to shine the international spotlight on this issue? >> i believe the administration has spoken with clarity and -- >> you are not saying yes or no slice is no. are you, sir, recommending to the president that he speak and take a public position on this? >> senator merkley, thank you very much for the question. we are recommending that we speak forcefully and directed by the kinds of atrocities that -- >> thank you. can we expect such a statement from the president in the next week? >> i'm not in position myself. >> i appreciate you pressing for that. >> likewise, obviously as an agency we don't, we do for our state department colleagues lean on this but yes as an agency we do continue to call on all parties to speak forcefully come to do will begin to end the violence, think you meant can access and hold people accountable. >> you can't really call on all parties to speak forcefully if her own president is that speaking forcefully. i have here a report of united
8:29 am
nations human rights office of high commissioner, september 13-24 if i get into into the record. >> without objection. >> i like to quote a piece of this. they use the term mean more so mean more or burma. mean more security -- scorched their dwellings and entire villages, not only to drive the population out interested also been victims from returning to their homes. the destruction by the burmese military of houses, , fields, fd stocks, livestock entries even -- returning to normal lights in the future almost impossible. it also indicates an effort to effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks and geography of the villages and memory in such a way to return to the lands would yield nothing but desolate unrecognizable terrain. information received indicates that mean more security forces
8:30 am
targeted teachers and cultural and religious leadership and of the people of influence an effort to diminish their history, culture knowledge. does that sound like ethnic cleansing to you? >> don't everyone rushed to answer. >> senator, first let me say that through the support of united states congress, the nets this is the strongest supporter of unhcr. not only financially but also through our diplomatic engagement around the world. we support what the high commission is reversed only. we believe that what he has described are, in fact, an accurate description of the atrocities that have -- >> thank you. i appreciate that and i'm very glad to hear that because i believe that if you carry that message to the highest levels of the department, but you believe this is an accurate description, that we will see forceful
8:31 am
representation of america responding to this. i recall our secretary of state talking to me when he was being considered for nomination, and he said he was going to provide moral leadership guidance. and yet here we have this horrific instance and we have virtually no voice, no pressure, very polite words about supporting the democracy in burma, almost things that sound like well, we think they're doing a good job trying to address this. it are not doing a good job. the military, and none of you testified that the military is behind this. this is an act not by random forces. this is an act by the government of burma, and we need to respond with enormous moral clarity and force on this issue. and i hope you'll make that happen. >> thank you very much. senator gardner.
8:32 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman to thank you to the witnesses for being here today. this very important hearing. i think all of us recognize the crisis in re-kinds didst nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe. the united states united states must be resolute in stopping this violence, condemning the funds come assessing the refugees in seeking to billy for the many crimes that are being committed. i reread that message personal yesterday in my meeting with the ambassador to the united states and will continue to do so. deeply saddened outrage at the events the last several months. we all are and we all have to be. i visited from mh 116 come at a long, long productive conversation then with aung san suu kyi as both in the united states as well. military leaders i met with included the commander in chief and expressed our condemnation and strongest terms possible which unfold there for decades. the recent tragic events -- ever talk to me or to the reform of burma that i witnessed firsthand during that visit.
8:33 am
while we must address the crisis of rakhine did we must look to the broader question of whether u.s. policy toward burma has succeeded to date in paving the path to peace stability and democracy in that country. i know that's what this committee hearing and is aboutd i think the witnesses were protesting in it but i'm struck by several of the answers that we received to some of the questions that have been asked. i guess i want to start follow up on something senator senaton said, mr. murphy, secretary murphy. last year, last congress, a decision was made to lift sanctions against burma. will that be reversed? was it a mistake? >> senator, appreciate your long-standing interest in burma, and i think your visit there does equip you to understand many of the challenges this country faces. i want to take the opportunity to speak with the moral clarity. there's been some question about where the administration is.
8:34 am
we've stated and are testament today we witness witnessed tere crimes. there is increasing evidence that security forces are associate with vigilante action. these individuals will be held accountable to will pursue accountability with all of the tools available to us. i've also stated that the military security forces have reacted in a disproportionate manner and bear the greatest responsibility for protecting local populations and have failed to do so. our sanctions program was designed to see the expression of the will of the burmese people. we saw successful election and elected government just 16 months ago, began very significant efforts to address allusive national peace and conflict around the country and, indeed, try and address the plight of the rohingya people. that does not absolve this government of criticism for its shortcomings. we are looking for all stakeholders to take actions. we also have to realize what
8:35 am
this government is up against. i don't take the position i don't defend their position, but the elected government does not have full authority over the military. in rakhine state ethnic rakhine of leaders are opposed to view mentoring assistance. there are opposed to citizenship for the rohingya. they hold incredible sway over the political space there. the entire country has prejudice and racism directed at the rohingya for any government is going to have difficulties in overcoming those obstacles. so we have to support those in government who see a better path forward. and, indeed, the re-kind advisor commission is a perfect example. this government invited the permission of the commission and has adopted and accepted the recommendations we want to support those because they provide the best path forward for the rohingya people. broad sanctions on those under discussion but i have to allow, broad sanctions could very well
8:36 am
make those mobile populations that still remain more vulnerable, susceptible to the same violence and criminal activity that is taking place thus far. we are to be very careful with our approach so that we can achieve the objectives were talking about today. better protection for these populations, safe return, accountability for those have committed atrocities. >> i expressed my concern to me over and over last congress. i put a hold on the ambassador over my objection that we lifted the national emergency order provisions at state department. i just don't understand, i still do not understand to this day how we think so now we are better off having done that and actions we've seen by, and burma, how the rohingya are better off as result of that. it seems like we gave a carrot without any return to behavior that would improve the plight of the human catastrophe that is unfolding there.
8:37 am
china argosy border stickam for important economically. what is china's role? what is -- what if they done as we've seen this unfold? >> senator, i think first on sanctions we are talking about targeted measures to try and achieve behavior change and protect civilians. we have to recognize in terms of broad sanctions the united states was the last country standing with significant restrictions. it was hurting our interest it was hurting our interest in preserving the ability of this elected government to have a good start in addressing the problems that had been ignored by 50 years of military authoritarian repressive rule. it does not mean burma had reached perfection we knew this would be bumpy. we knew there would be many challenges. we have to look at the tools available to us to encourage behavior change and proper action for proper actions are required but all in the international community including china.
8:38 am
we focus a member of the security council china could join us in recognizing the militaries disproportionate response has exacerbated these problems. china needs to work with others on the security council to understand that the instability that is being crude could affect the neighborhood including china's own interest. >> has china public a condemned the actions of military and burma? >> i don't think we've seen signs of john with the burmese military. we are looking for a better posture on their part. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you all very much for being here and for your ongoing work. i share the frustration you hearing among my colleagues on this committee about our inability to better effect the outcome of what's happening in burma here . i understand there been allegations of sexual violence, operate, about actions specifically targeting rohingya
8:39 am
women by members of the burmese security forces. can you tell me, anyone of you, if we have raised the specific concerns of gender-based violence with the burmese military and the government? >> yes, senator. we share your concerns. the reports by merely coming from refugees, very credible ngos come which suggests a wide range of abuses and atrocities including sexual violence, violence against women and children pick these are particularly vulnerable populations within a larger vulnerable population of the rohingya. this is not a monolithic government that is full authority and -- >> i understand that. >> just, directly with. >> translator: we that conversations to our ambassador to berman with the commander in chief of the armed forces, men online. we express our concerns with
8:40 am
other stakeholders and we pointed out this kind of displacement threatens the transition to democracy, crates a bigger risk for the attraction of international terrorism and could set burma back. suits in the countries interest not only to protect local populations but to pay the path forward that's in the betterment of all 55 million people. >> i appreciate that. unless you have a different response, ambassador, i'm going to move on. >> i would just like to say that our ambassador went and visited with victims of gender-based violence so that she herself could hear their testimony. >> thank you. i appreciate that. senator isakson and i will reintroduce the international violence against women act and it speaks to the importance of
8:41 am
that legislation of you look at how to address these crimes that are happening not just unfortunately are happening not just here with the rohingya but in other places around the world. i understand there are no estimate of six to 9000 pregnant rohingya women in bangladesh. i'm not sure if that number is correct that the main assistance they are getting is from the unfpa, and i certainly support that. i support the efforts that unfpa makes around the world to help pregnant women and women, vulnerable women who are in need of pre-and postnatal care. i guess ambassador storella, can you come if the administration supports unfpa efforts here and how we do that? >> center, the united states
8:42 am
does support efforts for women who are particularly vulnerable. we are working with a number of different agencies to ensure that there are things like gender appropriate latrines that are available. >> but we are not supporting efforts of unfpa, correct? >> the united states is limiting its support for unfpa at this time. >> thank you. that's unfortunate. the number of women and vulnerable positions who really need that help. i don't know if any of you can answer this question, , but i do know that i've heard from people who have come in new hampshire and other places, who have expressed concern about why aung san suu kyi has not spoken out more forcefully on this circumstance. mr. murphy, guess this is for you. what is your assessment of the situation there?
8:43 am
why do you think she is not spoken out more forcefully and what you think would happen to the power share and arrangement if she did? >> senator, my parents are residents of new hampshire and asked me the same question. i can't speak for. >> translator: . what i do know in burma one of the fundamental problems we're facing in return state -- i can't speak for aung san suu kyi. widespread racism directly at the rohingya. there are many populations that i suffer for decades from this commission, other ethnic minorities including inside rakhine state. the ethnically kind who as i said earlier dominate the political space have suffered from essentially directed discrimination. very complicated environment. we would like to see more champions, , more vocal voices r the rohingya and other repressed populations of an know it's a very complicated environment. speaking at a map of the rohingya is a dangerous proposition right now in burma. it must be acknowledged. i don't think that can withhold
8:44 am
us from criticizing broader human dignity and respect for each other. our particular message is not just to the government, also to the armed forces, local ethnic leaders but also the broad members of the burmese nation. reflect on your own suffering, your own voyage to overcome authoritarian rule, think about your fellow human beings and the terrible treatment of the rohingya is a real achilles' heel for this country and its transition. we need a broad public campaign of education for all burmese to understand they are in this together. rohingya are part of the fabric. they need to find a way forward for citizenship, or basic human rights and that's a broad message and we looking not just racing tour champion but for all burmese to understand human dignity is real important aspect of this crisis. >> i think that's very well said. what kind of message do you think it sends to people -- i
8:45 am
just ask one more question. >> was as long as you don't ask him to answer. >> that's fine. it's a rhetorical statement. what kind of a message does it send to burmese leadership, poetry and civilian, when in the united states of america -- military and civilian -- we have traveled and on muslim majority countries. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator risch. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all three of you for your service. what you're seeing here today is some considerable frustration and outrage amongst the members of this committee and there is a difference in our feeling, all of the committee come in that regard. we all share this frustration. we all share this outrage. i want to thank you for your leadership on this issue and for speaking with the moral clarity that you have spoken here today. i appreciate that you don't commit get direct with the president. you can't count on his desk and
8:46 am
tell him what he should say or shouldn't do some people have tried that for successfully. as the state department certainly you speak with the full force and effect of the united states foreign-policy behind you. and for that we appreciate that. our job in this committee is to help craft foreign-policy, and that will be done i'm sure as we move forward through resolutions or statutes that address this problem. today you have been very clear and assessing how difficult it is to be the one of the things i find that shows the difficult nature of this, and these are my words, not yours, but it seems like you are facing an entire population, a country that possesses a prejudice that's not
8:47 am
appropriate obviously, and it's manifesting itself in some very bad things. i don't know how you dress that. certainly sanctions are one way to do that, but prejudice is not easily overcome and, frankly, i don't know that sanctions are something that are going to convince people that they should be thinking differently than what they are. in any event i'd like to hear each of you address briefly if you would this issue that we're dealing with not an individual, which we quickly are in some countries, not even just the military as we are in some countries, but really the civilian government plus the population of the country that is really turning a blind eye towards this. do you have suggestions for changing the conduct? mr. murphy, let's start with you and work our way down. >> center, very much appreciate your perspectives. this current crisis is
8:48 am
appalling. appalling. it's sad. it's outrageous. i want to share with you my frustration doesn't begin with this crisis. it began 20 years ago when i first visited northern rakhine state. and i worked on and off over the course of my career on the particular challenge of the repressed rohingya population. it's been a long-standing problem. unfortunately of course frustration doesn't translate to action. we need to take measures to try and achieve behavior change and a path forward. we have identified something new in the current elected government environment, that is the willingness to try and tackle the underlying challenges in rakhine state. a path to citizenship, development for all of the underdeveloped populations that reside there. i want to revisit that rakhine advisory commission. it's no small measure that this commission was formed under leadership of the former u.n. secretary-general and came up with 88 very specific
8:49 am
recommendations. the new government has embraced them. we now need to see implementation. we need other stakeholders to support those recommendations. including the armed forces, local leaders in the kind state. those path forward include cooperation in coordination with bangladesh, development, access to basic government services have been lacking. olson poorly a path to citizenship so this disenfranchised population as a means to participate and gain from the benefits that other citizens enjoy dirk it's not going to be easy. these recommendations are both short-term and long-term, but we have government that is willing to do something where previous military regimes simply repressed and ignored. that does not mean this government has taken all the right steps. we are calling the government to do all that it can to end the violence, stop the hate speech, paid a path forward return of
8:50 am
repatriation, repatriated refugees, and find a way towars national peace. this government has convinced something called the conference which has been unprecedented since the 1940s together all representatives throughout the country to pave pay the path fd in ending conflict. as we talk about conflict today in rakhine state, there's ongoing conflict in the north. burma has been at war with itself nonstop for over 70 years, and his government is trying to achieve some peace. we need to work with the stakeholders who see a better way. at the same time we talked about targeted sanctions and measures for those who are not with the program. we have to have a measured balanced approach. >> take you very much. my time is up, i apologize, i really wanted to both of your perspectives also. i would just say thank you again for your service. i know that disheartening this is when you listen to these facts. don't give up.
8:51 am
represent us as you have and continue with development of policies that will do the best we can to do something about this. thank you, mr. chairman. >> iq very much. senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the witnesses. this is an important hearing. i missed a little bit of your opening statements and i apologize but i just picked up on some rhetoric and let what i want to come back to you on. i noticed h-bomb is obama is underway with an analysis to determine whether what's happening in burma ethnic cleansing just for the record, the french president macron at the end of september said what was happening to the rohingya constituted genocide and we must condemn ethnic. negation geisha which is underwd actin turkish president erdogan has also labeled the genocide or i would urge with dispatch us, determine what we think it is and labeling it. you talk i think it was mr. murphy, i heard you use the word bears vigilante action to what i think of vigilante action i
8:52 am
think of rogue individuals not connected with the government doing things but this is clearly action that isn't just vigilante, isn't just an expression of sort of endemic prejudice that there's official actors involved, including the military, ways i think are not deniable. that's not the same as vigilante action to bite or sting of the term. you also condemned the military is disproportionate response, and he think that the disproportionate response to the attack on burmese military. i don't view it as we responded or i think they have been a participant and often an initiator of many of the tax of the rohingya. and so i think if you want to be careful about language like ethnic cleansing and genocide we have to be careful about it. we also need to be careful about phrases like military is a responder or there's vigilante action because i think all the evidence would suggest it is
8:53 am
much more of an official sanction than that and i guess that's the basis of the work underway in the state department to determine exactly how to label it. i want to ask questions about bangladesh. i'm the ranking member with senator risch on the subcommittee over the region of the world that includes bangladesh and its eastern edge. these refugees are largely going to bangladesh which has its own set of challenges. could you tell the committee how the flow of refugees into bangladesh is affecting the country and are the things we can do to help bangladesh with these refugees? >> the crux of refugees is -- for country that staff for resources facing the infrastructure, and also facing difficult weather, it's nearly impossible. i think the bangladesh has done an extremely admirable job first by open its borders, then by working with international community to permit opportunities for assistance to reach the people who are there.
8:54 am
one of the most important things bangladesh has done is to work with the unhcr to undertake a registration of those arriving. i spoke with someone from the bangladesh embassy and he told me 260,000 refugees have been registered. 13,000 are being registered per day. >> there's about 600,000 that have fled by the most recent accounts? >> by the most recent accounts? >> 603,000 was the last count. these registrations are important because they provide protections themselves and also provide the basis for subsequent repatriation when conditions permit. i think bangladesh has demonstrated a great deal of patience in working with the burmese authorities. there was a meeting today in which the home affairs minister is working, a bangladesh, is working with the burmese to try to pave the way for eventual returns. i think that -- >> that 603,000, i for that as estimate, that's about half of the total rohingya population of
8:55 am
burma, if what if there is correct is that i could? >> we don't know the exact population he goes there has a consensus. we believe the 600,000 plus the number are already in bangladesh which brings the total to about 1 million is more than half of the rohingya population. >> from use it to prospective could you offer, ms. somvongsiri, could you offer your perspective from usaid? >> yes. usaid works closely with pr in which has the lead in the refugee crisis in bangladesh and agree with the ambassadors assessment terms of the bangladesh government generosity, already in an impoverished country with a lot of challenges of its own. with the ability to take in the massive massive influx. our program through food for peace this supplement the effort in terms of providing much-needed food assistance, nutrition and a lot come to achieve a sense of the challenges to build deliver the
8:56 am
food assistance the work is going towards logistics like roads that have been able to deliver into this very confined area. the other one other thing i mention in the short time is we do have a robust development assistance program in bangladesh and we're looking how to reshape that two of affected communities that are broadly in that area. >> unlike not going to asking the question but i will do questions for the record to flush out the extent of activities we're doing to help bangladesh and other things that we might do. i appreciate your interest. >> senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and to our witnesses for focusing us today on the appalling treatment of hermes muslim and ethnic minority, the rohingya you ungrateful to all the members of this committee on both side who taken concrete steps to address this crisis. in july senator tillis and i asked coaches of human rights caucus held a briefing about the displacement of the rohingya at that point relatively early in
8:57 am
this crisis as has just been disgusted, more than 600,000 who fled because of the militaries brutality. there's been a great deal of debate about whether the state counselor aung san suu kyi by her silence is contributing to this violence on september 17, 1 of her fellow nobel laureates archbishop desmond tutu wrote a moving letter in which he said quote, if the political price of your ascension of the highs office admin mart is recited, the price is surely to ski. a country that fails to acknowledge and protect the dignity of all its people is not a free country. it is in congress were a a syml of righteousness to lead such a country. i agree archbishop and hope the united states will continue to speak out, to stand for human rights and to call for policies and actions that empower and protect the rohingya. so ambassador, if i might first to you. you just answered questions from
8:58 am
senator kaine about what's happening on the ground in bangladesh i'd be interested in whether you foresee rohingya being able to return to burma and what steps you are taking to urge the burmese government to recognize and protect them upon the return, whether they would get documentation of citizenship or residency, which you believe the long-term plan is both in bangladesh and in burma for their safe treatment and care while refugees and the return to the nation of origin of burma. >> thank you very much for focus on what is absolutely a critical question, the possible of making the path open to return to the first thing is we must under all circumstances insist that returns must be the goal and that they must be voluntary and that the government of burma must provide for the security of returning refugees. we have seen some elements of progress despite an otherwise
8:59 am
dismal scenario. initially, as you know the government of burma had said they would not permit any funds to go to any kind of assistance organization whatsoever. they did not many of the things that everyone knew was going on. we insisted those funds would not go to the government, that it would go to humanitarian organizations. that has been permitted. the red cross has limited access which is very important because it also shines a light of what's going on there. over time we've seen that statement of state counselor aung san suu kyi have evolved in her statement of october 12. she outline of the goals were repatriation, resettlement and development. that's in the right direction. we need to keep pushing on that. as i mentioned in response to the question by senator kaine, we as an international community had to continue supporting bangladesh to make it possible for those returns to take place. i worked on returns and other countries including 360,000 cambodians. this will require a lot of work
9:00 am
at a political level to make it possible but also requires working with the key institutions that will be able to monitor and set the conditions to ensure that those returns actually can be voluntary, safe and dignity. so there's a path and i think why to just keep pushing down the path and not give up. >> thank you. i'm interested also in hearing as a might from ms. somvongsiri about the role religion has played and what contribution usaid conflict mitigation efforts might make to keep religious tensions from further exacerbating this conflict. ..
9:01 am
promoting that and we do that by building dialog with local society groups. we've found nascent society groups that are moderate in views, but don't have the space to speak out in terms of religious tolerance, in terms of cross community efforts and our role is to strengthen the civil societies and put them together. many don't feel comfortable doing that. that's a critical issue. i'm out of time, but happy to provide information on that and exactly what our programs are doing to support that. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> senator marky.
9:02 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. the very important hearing, absolute crisis that has broken out and many in the rohingya community following bangladesh claim that the soldiers entered into their villages and killed civilians, raped women and girls and burned down the entire village. international medical teams treating the rohingya in those camps say there are gunshot wounds consistent with being shot from behind and some women and girls with sexual assault. it's clear that the military bears responsibility for the crimes, even perpetrators at lower levels are unknown. burma's commander-in-chief, general min is responsible for the systematic crimes.
9:03 am
why has the administration not added the general to the blocked person's list? >> thank you, senator. we share your concerns about the abuses and atros ifcitieatrt they have taken place for that reason we've announced measures on the state department on behalf of the administration to pursue accountability and accountability will apply to all individuals responsibility for perpetuating these abuses. and that applies to armed forces predominantly, but in answer to questions from senator caine. those are those who attacked fellow citizens. there are local civilians who have taken actions in their own
9:04 am
hands, sometimes in concert with the forces and when i was there a few weeks ago, in their own hands, and that circumstance involved attacking a red cross shipment and indeed, security forces helped thwart that attack. that was a welcomed sign, but there are vigilantes who are part of the equation. all of the military leadership is subject to our restrictions for travel to the united states, subject to our restrictions for any assistance, that applies to the senior general as well and the armed forces have sounded pre-porti pre-portion-- >> have you impose add travel ban on general min travelling to the united states? have you impose that had? >> and there's an existing travel ban as a result of his rank and position and we will under no circumstances pursue any waiver for his ability to
9:05 am
travel to the united states or gain from assistance from the united states. >> so, what other steps then would you recommend that we take, given in the very near past we were, as a government, talking about enhanced military cooperation with burma. that was a signal that was being sent to these people that, obviously, would have given them some assurance that they would not have to be concerned about any of their actions. so, how has that been communicated to them? that is, how has-- how has the fact that they're working with other members was successful in having that language struck from the legislation as it was moving through a couple of months ago? what was the interpretation that they made of that action
9:06 am
legislatively? >> senator, the reality is that our military to military relationship with burma is not normal and has not been for many, many decades. there are many existing restrictions. what we have communicated to the military in relation to the current crisis is that their path to normalization is obstructed by their failure to protect local populations. there's a conundrum here and we have to acknowledge it. we hear this even from government figures inside burma. the armed forces has been isolated for better half of a century and not exposed to norms and regulations. it's argued they need exposure to understand how to behavior properly and focus on national defense and not abusing its own people. unfortunately, that's going to be for another day. under the current circumstances we are not exploring engagement
9:07 am
or enhancing assistance or contact with the military or facilitating travel. that's a clear message at that they have failed to protect local population and have contributed to-- >> and you agree with that message? >> absolutely. i've delivered that message directly to the military figures. >> and the response is? >> look, i think part of the problem here is a failure in burma among many stakeholders to recognize what's taken place, massive failure and failure to protect citizens and that's part of the messaging. they need to see exactly what they've done and what the repercussions are. i think the message that may resonate the most, their actions create a greater risk for international terrorism. thing they have a terrorism problem now by virtue of the attacks that took place on august 25th and last year in 2016 which created population displacement. our message is that's not a real international terrorism
9:08 am
problem. the kind of problem that could visit burmese territory is a significant challenge they won't be equipped to handle and they're exacerbating that risk now. >> it reminds me of el salvador in the '80s, we'd been giving money to the generals and they were actually the leaders of the death squad. and even as we were helping them, they were indifferent to our views how the money is going to use. >> this is an issue we'll have to press harder on, in terms of their military and how they're using the resources that they have. thank you, mr. chairman. >> very much appreciate your testimony. i have a question and then we have some closing comments here, i want to thank everybody for participating and i know senator markley, thank you for the trip you're getting ready to take to the area. obviously, this is all very damning to the leadership of burma. each of you have stated that
9:09 am
clearly and the questions that have been asked have all been in that direction. if miss suchi were here what would she say in defense of what was happening in her own country? >> senator, i think it's a fair question, but honestly, i can't speak for her. i can relate in our conversations with her, secretary tillerson has spoken with her as well, we have tried to impress upon her the need to take key actions. i think we've also recognized it's a complicated environment by describing the complexities, that doesn't absolve the soft of its responsibility. there are measures the government has taken which i think she would point that that we frankly need to support. it's hard in this environment when there's such a crisis underway. it's taking unprecedented
9:10 am
action, a clear departure from authori authoritien military rule. we don't want to behave in a way that reverts burma back to military rule. that's not a benefit to the rohingya population and others, what they're doing is making a better path for the rohingya, but we need other stakeholders, primarily the armed forces. and i hate to point out inside the state they need to lower the hate speech, realize they need to share the space together. they all need to benefit from better treatment and benefit from development and international assistance. which has been a course of action today. all international organizations are providing assistants to all vulnerable populations. the rohingya and ethnic minorities in that very complicated space. i think that senator,
9:11 am
fundamentally, the bottom line, we want to help burma succeed. this is an enormous crisis that threatens the transition, could revert burma back yards in the wrong direction. we need better relationship and to contribute to that process. >> thank you, senator. >> i wanted to thank the witnesses for their efforts here and what they're doing, representing our country. i do want to make a couple of comments. the government has a responsibility, understandably for all parties. but when you assume the government responsibility you have to show leadership and we have not seen that from the burmese government. number two, in regards to return, let me make this comment, your village has been burned downtown it's difficult to see where you're returning to. if you're going to return to a situation where you're going to be in a detention camp that may not be an acceptable safety issue and permanency how long
9:12 am
that will last. i would urge us to be careful, yes, we want the people to return to their communities, we have to realize it's not only the ethnic problems, we also have physical problems and safety problems on their return. and lastly, mr. secretary murphy, i wanted to emphasize i've heard this argument many, many times you don't want to impose sanctions that could hurt the people we're trying to help. that's like chalk on a board for me. it's just-- i heard that argument about hurting the jews and the soviet union if we impose sanctions and jews are much better off because we did impose sanctions and i heard that about the blacks in south africa engage instead of trying to use economic pressure, heard that about iran, shouldn't apply sanctions. we engage because of sanctions. sanctions are much preferred than using military and in many
9:13 am
case allowed us to get results without the use of our military and we shouldn't be shy in using america's economic strength. and senator markley's birthday i'm aligned to ask a question. >> a one minute comment. two things i'm concerned about, secretary murphy. one is that in regard to our military context with burma, we are currently posting folks from the military and comprehensive security response, transitional security cooperation, advanced security cooperation, so we do have-- we do have military officers from burma and i think we have to ask ourselves the question, military organized the burning of nearly 300 villages, often the villages surrounded by a platoon, set fire and shoot
9:14 am
people as they flee. i think we need to think about all of the levers we have to pressure the military. they are really in charge, we can talk about civilian side of burma, but it's the military that runs things, which is part of the reason that some folks say we should be careful about criticizing her because she doesn't have much power. the military has the power, let's use and look at levers. twice you've used the term vigilantes, which is the official excuse. a few people acting randomly on their own do not surround hundreds of villages in a coordinated action. i think that use of that term gives cover to the military in a way that's totally unacceptable. >> thank you. >> thank you very much for your testimony and service to the company. we'll lay the record open until
9:15 am
the close of business thursday if you could answer them fairly promptly, we'd appreciate it. again, we appreciate very much you being here and i know that this committee is going to want to-- will stay on top of it. we look forward to merkley's report when he's back. with that, the meeting is adjourned. adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
9:16 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:17 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:18 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:19 am
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
9:20 am
>> today the chair of the council of economic advisors on tax reform had a hearing of the joint academic committee. watch live coverage starting at so a.m. on c-span 3 or c-span.org or listen on your smartphone with the c-span radio app. >> this week on q & a. >> shoving and jostling. their target was charles murray and i was a little bit behind him and kind of intensified and it looked like he was going to fall to the ground. and at the time he was a 74-year-old man and i did what any decent human being would do when you see a 74-year-old man on the way to falling on the ground. i grabbed an arm.
9:21 am
and i was afraid to-- it was a large, i don't know how many, i was fearful of being separated from them and behind. and i took his arm and that's when it turned on me, someone pulled my air and pushed my body in an opposite direction. >> a violent march on the campus. watch that 8:30 eastern on c-span's q & a. c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service for america's cable companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> officials announced a 340 million dollar commit to relief efforts for

31 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on