Two years since the military coup in Burma

Learn more about Michael Bailey.
Michael Bailey
Senior Program Manager, Leadership Programs
George W. Bush Institute

It's imperative that the United States government and our democratic allies continue to condemn Burma’s military regime and demand power is returned to the rightfully elected civilian government.

On February 1, 2021, Burma’s progress towards democracy was thwarted by a military coup led by a regime who refused to accept the results of the country’s free and fair elections held in 2020.

Over the past two years, the illegitimate regime is responsible for the tragic death and imprisonment of thousands of lives along with countless human rights abuses. Today, the people of Burma continue to live in this new reality under a ruthless junta.

Despite the hardships they’ve faced, the Burmese still yearn for democracy and the gains made before the military seized power. We know this to be true because of the inspiring young leaders and freedom advocates we’ve had the privilege of working with in the country through our Liberty and Leadership Program since 2014.

The devotion of these young leaders to democratic principles is why the Bush Institute is committed to supporting freedom globally. While many of us in free societies may find it difficult relating to the challenges Burma is currently experiencing, the struggles of these brave activists remind us that liberty is precious.  Our shared humanity and desire for freedom make it our moral obligation to care.

Moreover, what happens around the world matters to us here at home. As noted in our recent policy recommendations on supporting democracy worldwide, “American leadership…must counter the threats posed by rising authoritarian powers for the sake of global security and prosperity. The best way to do this is by supporting accountable democracies that respect the rule of law and protect the rights of their people.”

It is imperative that the United States government and our democratic allies continue to condemn these human rights abuses and demand Burma’s military regime return power to the rightfully elected civilian government.

The United States is rooted in the value of freedom. Together, compassionate Americans can help the people of Burma, who hold that same devotion to liberty in their hearts, realize their dream of a democratic country. The Bush Institute remains committed to this cause and will continue to advocate for the people of Burma.