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Indy Burmese community looks to legislators to respond to Myanmar military coup

SOUTHPORT, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana’s Burmese community is looking to lawmakers to do something about the unrest in Myanmar. The military took control weeks ago and top Myanmar officials are still detained.

U.S. Sen. Todd Young recently introduced a resolution condemning the military action in Myanmar.

He met with members of Indianapolis’ Burmese community to further express his commitment to helping restore democracy there.

“They continue to arrest as we speak political leaders, as well ashHarass journalist peaceful protesters in some cases with violence enforcers,” said Elaisa Vahnie with the Burmese American Community Institute.

Myanmar has been transitioning into a democracy. But it’s been a challenge for the country that has lived under military rule for generations. Officials said the situation started when the military tried to challenge the November democratic election results. When that didn’t work, the military took over.

“Part of that effort, a critical component will be the international communities’ help,” Vahnie said.

The Myanmar citizens have been essentially powerless to do anything about it. Indy’s Burmese community is appealing to international and local leaders like Young .

“For too long Washington D.C. has sort of had a blind eye to many of the abuses occurring in Myanmar. No longer. We must speak out. We must be clear. We must speak unequivocally and we must speak frequently about the abuse,” Young said.

Young focuses a lot of attention on foreign and immigrant affairs. He said he was optimistic about Myanmar’s election. Hoping it would be free and fair. But said the military coup betrayed that attempt at democracy.

“We need to preserve it. And also need to make sure that the lamp of liberty burns bright enough so that we can inspire other nations to change,” Young said. “And we need to be vocal when our own nation and other nations fall short.”

The Burmese community so far has written letters to 100 U.S. legislators for help and is in the process of drafting a letter for President Joe Biden.

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