November 8, 2013 1:03:31 pm
Over three dozen American organisations have asked US President Barack Obama to update targeted financial sanctions on Myanmar.
In an open letter,as many as 37 organisations yesterday expressed concern that the Obama Administration has failed to update the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list despite its commitment to provide US investors with the tools they need in order to manage their investments in Myanmar.
The joint letter notes that the Obama Administration has made only a few removals and additions to the SDN list over the past few years and that the inconsistent nature of these decisions has sent confusing signals to the people of Myanmar.
For instance,the Administration added Asia Green Development Bank and two other companies fronted by Burmese tycoon Tay Za to the list in November 2012,and then abruptly waived sanctions on the Bank in February 2013 despite Tay Za’s continuing ties with the Burmese army and the ongoing war in Kachin State,it said.
Furthermore,the letter urges the addition of individuals who clearly fall under the criteria for sanctions,such as military commander Brig. Gen. Tun Tun Naung,who is responsible for the civilian attacks,serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Burma’s ongoing war against the Kachin Independence Army.
Given these concerns,the Administration must publish clear criteria for removing reformed civilian persons from the list,the letter said.
The joint letter draws attention to the Obama Administration’s failure to make needed changes to the SDN list,even in the face of escalating human rights abuses,concerns over peace,security,and stability,and an explosion of land confiscation cases and military assaults tied to economic development.
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