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US House Backs Measure Condemning Myanmar Coup

FILE - Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-NY., speaks during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, Feb. 28, 2020.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation Friday condemning the military coup in Myanmar, as lawmakers decried increasingly harsh tactics used to suppress demonstrations since the February 1 ouster of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The measure passed 398-14, with one lawmaker voting "present." All of the "no" and "present" votes came from Republicans.

The resolution condemned the coup and the detention of Myanmar's civilian leaders, called for the release of all those detained and for those elected to serve in parliament to resume their duties.

The House had passed another Burma-related measure Thursday by voice vote. That bill, which must be passed by the Senate before becoming law, would require President Joe Biden's administration to provide a report to Congress on events in Myanmar and its response to them.

"We must, we must make it clear that the United States is watching and that we support the restoration of democracy," said Representative Gregory Meeks, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urging support for the measures.

Security forces killed at least nine opponents of Mynamar's military junta Friday, as Southeast Asian countries urged an end to the violence and Western ambassadors condemned what they called the army's "immoral, indefensible" actions.