Mr. Speaker, in this week where we as a House voted to reform the United Nations, hold them accountable for their actions, I rise to talk about a place in the world where the United Nations is not, but where it ought to be, and a brave woman who is doing the work of the entire United Nations.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to salute a woman born on June 19, 1945. I would like to read a poem that she wrote:

``Emerald cool we may be, as water in cupped hands. But of that we might be, as splinters of glass, in cupped hands.''

This poem was written by a lady who may be small in stature, but is a giant and noble in character. She carries no weapons, commands no Army; yet this lady actually brings fear into the hearts of at least 400,000 sinister armed soldiers in her native country of Burma. The lady I am referring to is Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the pro-democracy movement in Burma whom the Burmese people affectionally refer to as ``The Lady.''

She is unassuming, but her vision for her country brings fright in the whole army of despots and tyrants that occupy her nation.

In her poem she says even though she and the rest of the pro-democracy movement are emerald cool and as harmless as water in cupped hands, their stand for liberty and democracy is like glass splinters in the hands of the military tyrants that have a stranglehold on her own nation of Burma.

Most Americans do not know where Burma is, much less hear about what occurs in this nightmare of a country. Burma's military regime has created a human rights nightmare for its people. It even arms children, 12, 13 and 14 year olds, and makes them become soldiers. Over 70,000 kids, more than any other country in the world, are armed and fighting for this nation's tyrants.

There are over 1,400 political prisoners who are locked up for supporting this basic concept of human rights and democracy. For something that is as trivial as owning an unauthorized fax machine, listening to radio signals, people are imprisoned in Burma for up to 7 years by the military.

Up to 2 million Burmese have fled the country as refugees and migrants. For those who remain in this country, a brutal campaign by the tyrants in control includes burning the villages and destruction of rice supplies. Killings by the Burmese military regime have resulted in the forcible displacement of 500,000 to a million people, civilians, people in Burma hiding from the military, hiding in their own nation.

These people cannot flee into neighboring Thailand, nor can they return to their homes. They are refugees within their country, unable to grow food and living in extreme poverty, all because of the military tyrants that control this nation.

Aung San Suu Kyi remains steadfast in her calls against the Burmese junta's reign of terror. Though under house arrest for 10 of the past 15 years by these evildoers, Aung San Suu Kyi has led her political party to an 82 percent victory in Burma's last election. While she should be the democratic leader of this country, the outlaw military regime annulled the results of the election.

Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago just before her most recent arrest, this regional hero was almost assassinated. In May 2003 when she was briefly arrested from house arrest, she took a trip to the Burmese countryside. The military regime forced hundreds of criminals out of jail and shaved their heads so they would look like Buddhist monks. They were drugged up on methamphetamine and ordered to attack this lady. Her car was in the middle of a motorcade, and in the middle of the night these criminals used clubs and iron rods to beat to death 100 of her supporters who were watching her.

Aung San Suu Kyi has never committed a crime. She is the mother of two children. Her husband passed away outside of Burma, and the regime refused to grant him a visa to spend his dying days with his wife. Despite overwhelming oppression, the Burmese people, following the example of Aung San Suu Kyi, The Lady, continued to courageously express their desire for human rights and freedom.

During The Lady's last pro-democracy speaking tour in 2003, she spoke to dozens of cities around her country. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese people showed up to hear her speak, or see her as she went by. In several towns, the regime cut the electricity off at night so she could not speak and so people could not see her. But the Burmese people simply held up their matches and lighters to create a light for her.

Even in the midst of overwhelming darkness and oppression, the people of Burma stand with courage. No, freedom's flame may not burn within the seats of power, but it burns within the hearts of the Burmese people. Light always defeats darkness, as it will here in Burma.

Over the last 8 months, the Burmese people have collected 300,000 signatures calling for change in Burma. In the United States, of course, petitions are really common; but in Burma, this is groundbreaking. Every single person who signs a petition risks his life. They plan to present these pleas to the United Nations Secretary-General.

The rallying cry for the Burmese people is ``do-yay, do-yay,'' which means ``our cause, our cause.'' It is a powerful symbol, revealing that the Burmese people realize their struggle for human rights is not their own and not to be imposed upon them by the outside world. Nevertheless, they have called on international support for their hope.

Aung San Suu Kyi has called on people around the world to take action, stating, Please, please use your liberty to promote our liberty. She specifically has called upon people around the world to encourage their governments to impose political and economic pressure on the Burmese military regime until they agree to change, knowing that unless they are pressured, the renegades will never sit down and discuss this concept of democracy.

``The Lady'' has encouraged broad public awareness of Burma with the message that a free world stands with the Burmese people.

Aung San Suu Kyi also requests that the people of the free world send as much encouragement and free information into Burma as possible, including music, poems, news broadcasts and images of people living in open, free, democratic societies.

She has also called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution demanding change in Burma. The U.N. Secretary-General's office has miserably failed in this matter. It needs to undertake a full-court diplomatic press in order to create a transformation.

I just want to mention briefly and expand on this point. We have, as I said, yesterday and today in this House been debating the Henry Hyde United Nations Reform Act. No matter how Members of the House voted for Chairman Hyde's bill or Ranking Member Lantos' substitute amendment, most colleagues here in this House are in agreement on one thing. The United Nations is ineffective, it is corrupt, it is not fulfilling its mission, and it has lost credibility as an international organization. It is the hot air in the balloon of a world organization.

When it comes to Burma, the United Nations has failed miserably. Kofi Annan has said a lot of words about the tragedy of Burma and the injustice against the little lady and these people. Yet he has actually done nothing. He says over and over again that, quote, he is concerned, he is interested, he is hopeful, yet to date Kofi Annan has not demanded any consequences for what is occurring in this nation of Burma. What good are words if there is no action to back them up?

November 21, 2002, Kofi Annan said that he was hopeful that there would be national reconciliation in Burma.

February 2, 2003, he said, the Secretary-General is concerned about the arrests by the Burmese authorities of 12 members of opposition parties.

May 13, 2003, he again said that he was hopeful, that famous word he continues to say, that national reconciliation and negotiations would begin in Burma.

May 31, 2003, he said he was concerned and called for negotiations and that he would be following closely with concern the situation in Burma.

On June 6, 2003, he called for the release of this lady, Aung San Suu Kyi.

On March 31, 2004, he called for negotiations, said he was concerned about this lady that is imprisoned in her own home and that she should be released from captivity.

It goes on and on and on, just asking, asking this military regime to do something about the people of their own nation. My grandfather used to say, ``When all is said and done, more is said than done.'' Here again we find the United Nations making a lot of talk and not doing anything about this nation that is imprisoned by its own government. My question to Kofi Annan is, why are there no consequences? Does Kofi Annan really expect to be taken seriously by the tyrants controlling Burma if he has no action to back up his words?

What about demanding a transition to democracy as the Burmese people have asked for? What about saying, Enough is enough. If Burma's regime does not heed 10 consecutive U.N. resolutions calling for Burma to simply participate in a dialogue with the democracy movement, then refer this issue to the U.N. Security Council and call for international economic sanctions.

Unfortunately, with Kofi Annan's track record as seen with the 14 plus resolutions alone on Iraq and his lack of action on the genocide in Sudan and other examples of ineffectiveness, Kofi Annan seems to be not willing to demand consequences, and there is no action. For the sake of the millions of people around the world and especially in Burma that are subject to slaughter and rape, displacement, starvation and victimization at the hands of their government, specifically the evil tyrants of Burma, we should stop talking in the United Nations and start doing something about it. Why do we have the United Nations? Is this not its mission? Is this not why the United Nations started, to help these tortured people?

But enough about the broken and ineffective United Nations. There is a voice for freedom in Burma, the lady, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr. Speaker, I ask this question. Why are those 400,000 Burmese soldiers consistently afraid of the lady? The answer is, because she wants a democracy in her nation. Simple. She wants her people to be free, a free country like our country. The forces of evil in this world always fear the forces of good. Forces that promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the forces that make all of us desire to be free. Every human being is created down in our soul with these God-given desires and rights.

So, Mr. Speaker, on this birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi, I am here to assure her that the United States has not forgotten her and her people. Even though the United Nations has dreadfully forsaken her cause, this country stands firm for all freedom-loving people, people who just want to control their own lives and their own country. Even though Burma's neighbors look the other way while making money in shady business deals, the United States is watching and I hope the United States does not abandon this nation of Burma. The United Nations and Burma's neighbors might be able to sleep at night while the people of Burma are beaten and pillaged, some slaughtered, but we hope that the United States will take note. Liberty's blaze burns bright and burns strong in this nation of Burma and her people.

So in closing, I am sending a special birthday greeting to this lady who is under house arrest, this lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, on her 60th birthday, wishing her a respite of peace in the darkness that surrounds her. The United Nations may do nothing but hopefully the United States is standing with her and the United States remembers her on her 60th birthday.

May God bless you, Aung San Suu Kyi, and God bless Burma and the people who desire freedom, freedom that all of us desire no matter who we are, what we look like, male or female, anyplace in this world.