WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers reviewing the “troubling” state of human rights in Southeast Asia have stiffly criticized Vietnam and Cambodia but reserved some of their toughest words for Burma and demanded an end to U.S. concessions to its quasi-civilian government.
The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, likened conditions faced by minority Muslims in western Burma to concentration camps. A Democratic lawmaker questioned whether there were signs of genocide.
Wednesday’s hearing indicated congressional goodwill toward Burma’s government has exhausted, and criticism of the Obama administration’s forward-leaning engagement policy has intensified.
Lawmakers took aim at Vietnam’s suppression of dissent, and the strong-arm tactics of Cambodia’s leader Hun Sen.
No lawmakers mentioned Wednesday’s presidential election in Indonesia that the White House lauded as sign of its maturing democracy.