Message from Ambassador Thomas L. Vajda to the People of Myanmar on Completion of his Service
December 17, 2022
It has been an honor to serve as the U. S. Ambassador to Myanmar for the past two years. Having served previously in Myanmar under military dictatorship, it was deeply rewarding to return as Ambassador along with my family and present my credentials to President Win Myint and a democratically elected government on January 19, 2021.
Soon thereafter the military overthrew the civilian government and embarked upon a campaign of violence and repression that continues to this day. The remarkable gains that Myanmar achieved in the previous decade have been wiped away.
These are difficult times for everyone, but the courage, resilience, and resolve of the Myanmar people are truly inspiring. I have witnessed people in Myanmar sacrifice their livelihoods, education, freedom, and even their lives for the greater good. These efforts will, I believe, ultimately be rewarded, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of representing my country in your midst.
As I depart, I want to affirm the U.S. commitment to support the Myanmar people as you strive for an inclusive federal democracy and the right to determine your own future. We will continue to work with our international partners to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime, hold the regime accountable for its past and ongoing abuses, deliver aid to the millions of people in need, and support your efforts to guarantee your rights and freedoms.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It may take more time, but I am confident the people of Myanmar will ultimately secure their birthright of freedom, human rights, and democracy. It is what you rightfully demand and what you deserve.
It has been a true honor to have worked alongside so many remarkable individuals and support the people of Myanmar and their cause of justice. You have my very best wishes.