US Officials Argue Sanctions Policy on Burma

The official’s response came as the dozen investors released their collective letter on May 11 arguing that they do not believe that immediate relaxation of US sanctions would best serve the goal of achieving progress toward democracy and respect for human rights in Burma.

“As institutional investors, financial service providers and related stakeholders, we are concerned about the risks posed by the potential broad relaxation of US sanctions and the ban on financial transactions and investments in Burma,” the letter said. » Read more

Investors Urge Administration to Take Cautious Approach to Lifting Sanctions on Burma

Burma will remain a volatile area for business investment if the Obama Administration broadly relaxes U.S. sanctions, according to a dozen investors collectively managing more than $115 billion in assets. In a letter to President Obama, the investors cited concerns about the risk of derailing progress toward democracy and respect for human rights, stating that “without the rule of law or constitutional assurances that the judiciary will protect property or investments, Burma remains a volatile area for business investment.” » Read more

Senator Webb is (still) wrong on Burma

Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.), perennially oblivious to the brutality of the Burmese military government, has always opposed United States economic sanctions on the junta. Despite his attempts to gut them, U.S. sanctions were not only maintained but strengthened and are beginning to produce important results. » Read more

Burma: Don’t lose the endgame

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it is time to relax sanctions on Burma, and the business community is cheering. They promise that U.S. business engagement will bring rule of law and human rights to Burma.

Not so fast. We’ve heard these arguments before, and from the same business actors. Let’s not forget U.S. sanctions led to political reform in Burma. Now that reform has begun, it is important not to relax our leverage too soon, lest we squander the precious and hard-fought gains for Burma’s human rights and democracy activists. » Read more

Human Rights Experts Urge US Not to Drop Sanctions

Independent human rights experts have urged the Obama administration and US Congress not to relax sanctions on Burma, arguing reforms being initiated by the Burmese government are reversible.

“As much as we want to hope that the recent progress toward democracy in Burma will mark a turning point, nothing positive will last until the Burmese military stops committing atrocities and a political agreement is reached with the ethnic national states,” said former Congressman Thomas H. Andrews in his testimony before a Congressional subcommittee on Wednesday. » Read more

Human Rights Groups Hold Demonstrations, Demand Additional Sanctions on Sudan as Atrocities Escalate

Demonstrations will be held in New York City and Washington, D.C. as part of a week of action. Around the world, activists will show their solidarity with the people of Sudan and help to highlight the crisis with a Facebook action on Friday, April 27. They will post a special image indicating that they have taken action to “Stop Weapons of Mass Starvation” in Sudan and urge their networks to follow suit. » Read more

Experts Ask US to Use Caution in Easing Burma Sanctions

Former congressman Tom Andrews, who is president of the group, “United to End Genocide,” cautioned that the Burmese government could still undo any positive changes and that there is still military violence against innocent civilians. » Read more

Human Rights Groups Resist State Department Efforts to Prematurely Reward the Burmese Regime

Nine human rights organizations are calling on the United States government to prioritize democracy and human rights in Burmaby exercising caution when it comes to the relaxation of sanctions.

In a letter to President Obama dated April 24, 2012, the groups urge a gradual approach that “enables the U.S. government to engage and influence the Burmese government in a direction that supports genuine and sustained political reform towards democratization, durable peace, and improved respect for human rights.” » Read more

Myanmar Activists Say Go Slow on Easing Sanctions

This past week, the U.S.-based activist organization United to End Genocide released a report as part of a corporate responsibility project warning that rushing to invest with Myanmar might only make the country's problems worse.

The group said its president, Tom Andrews, had spent the day of the April 1 by-elections in Kachin state, and quoted him as saying, "There is no evidence of reform for many desperate people in Burma." » Read more

Risk to Investors Continues in Burma, Despite Elections

Amid reports that the recent elections in Burma will lead to relaxation of international sanctions, high risks remain for investors despite initial reforms by President Thein Sein and the electoral victory of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. » Read more