Burma crisis: Whitehouse announces sanctions

26 09 2007

Crackdown underway in Burma hundreds arrested

September 26th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Reports trickle out of Rangoon on the situation and protests spreading throughout the land its military rulers call Myanmar. Here in Manila there are calls for the Military in Yangoon/Rangoon to follow the will of the people and restore democracy. But the rest of ASEAN is silent as always.

[] Security forces have launched a crackdown against thousands of protesters in Myanmar’s central Yangon city. Early reports suggest two Buddhist monks were killed and between 80 and 200 people arrested. Police launched tear gas and fired above the crowds as up to 10,000 protestors pushed their way through barricades towards key protests points. The continuous protests against the military regime have been triggered by sharp rises in food and fuel prices. – Panos London []

News agencies and other organizations have a difficult time getting information out. But the death toll is rising and so are reports say the number of people being detained.

Four killed in Myanmar protest crackdown
Witnesses say 3 shot in Myanmar protests Los Angeles Times
Jerusalem Post – NPR – Inquirer.net – Times of India
all 2,964 news articles »

My own report on the crisis has mostly a view that the turmoil could lead to a flood of Yaba and other drugs across the borders into Thailand and Bangladesh:


The US State Department released its yearly International Narcotics report for 2008, which has warned that the political problems in Burma are leaving drug production centers unchecked, and, corruption problems in government mean it has become Asia’s central distribution area for meth pills.

Production point for many criminal trafficking groups. “Burma’s military regime has not made the necessary efforts to curb production and has also been very lackluster in the areas of demand reduction,” Christy McCampbell , Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs told reporters at a briefing.

Worse even prior to the crisis, there seemed to be little effort to stem the trade and the US DEA believes this may indicate large scale participation of security forces in protection of production center, “We think are important, interdiction that’s very important and combating corruption. ” McCampbell added.


On the streets of what the Military Junta calls, Yangoon, Myanmar there is fear, Thursday night, reports of arrests and a death has surfaced as a crackdown versus over 100,000 people daily filling the streets in protest.

(more on www.pacificnewscenter.com)]


Fact sheet President Bush Addresses The United Nations General Assembly
At the United Nations today, President Bush expressed the outrage of the American people at the continued oppression of the people of Burma. The people of Burma deserve to enjoy basic liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and worship. The United States calls on the Burmese regime to engage in a genuine dialogue with its own people, including the leaders of the pro-democracy movement and ethnic minority groups, on a transition to a civilian, democratic government. The Burmese regime should release those who have been arrested for peacefully expressing their views, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and should also exercise restraint in the face of peaceful protests.

President Bush called for a series of steps to help bring peaceful change to Burma. The President urged the United Nations and all nations to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom.

President Bush announced that the United States will tighten economic sanctions. Sanctions against Burma were first imposed in 1997 with the issuance of Executive Order 13047. These sanctions were augmented on July 28, 2003 by the enactment of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act and the issuance of Executive Order 13310.

  • The tightened sanctions will block the property and interests in property of certain senior leaders of the regime and individuals who provide financial backing for the regime.
  • Under the current executive orders, the assets of a limited number of named entities are blocked, but the United States Government has not designated specific individuals. These new designations will identify members of the regime who are responsible for violations of human rights and for impeding the nation’s transition to democracy.

President Bush also announced that the United States will expand the current visa ban.

  • The United States will impose an expanded visa ban on those individuals responsible for violations of human rights and those individuals aiding, abetting, and benefiting from the regime’s efforts to impede Burma’s transition to democracy, as well as their family members.

President Bush instructed his Administration to step up efforts to support the work of humanitarian groups that are alleviating suffering in Burma. Burma is experiencing a crisis on many fronts, including in health and education, and these humanitarian groups carry out important work to help in these areas.

  • The United States will review existing policies to ensure that we do all we can to facilitate the work of humanitarian groups, which face significant opposition from the Burmese regime.