Press Releases

Senators Feinstein and McConnell and Representatives Crowley and Manzullo Pledge Support for People of Burma

- Feinstein, McConnell, Crowley and Manzullo were sponsors of legislation signed today by the President to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma’s democratic opposition -

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined today with Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) to pledge support for the people of Burma as they recover and rebuild from the devastation wrought by Cyclone Nargis.

Senators Feinstein and McConnell and Representatives Crowley and Manzullo were the Congressional sponsors of legislation signed today by President Bush to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her courageous and unwavering commitment to peace, non-violence, human rights, and democracy in Burma. The medal also expresses solidarity with Suu Kyi and the people of Burma in their continuing struggle for a free and democratic Burma.

Following is the joint statement of solidarity issued today by Senators Feinstein and McConnell and Representatives Crowley and Manzullo:

“In this time of humanitarian crisis, we reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Burma and pledge to do what we can to help the Burmese people recover from this terrible disaster. 

According to the latest reports, more than 22,000 people have lost their lives from Cyclone Nargis and another 41,000 are missing. And the United Nations estimates that 1 million Burmese people have been left homeless by the storm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. 

We welcome the initial pledge of $250,000 for immediate relief efforts by the United States Embassy in Burma, as well as news that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has decided to call for international aid.

President Bush today said that he is prepared to send massive aid, provided that disaster relief assessment teams are allowed into the country. We urge the SPDC to accept this offer immediately.

We also encourage the regime to lift all restrictions on international humanitarian organizations so that aid workers can begin to provide much needed food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies.

The lives of many thousands of people are at risk. The United States stands ready to help.” 

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