Bush extends 9-year-old sanctions against Myanmar
Large-scale repression of political opponents by the ruling junta in Myanmar remains a threat to the security of the United States.india Updated: May 19, 2006 11:28 IST
Large-scale repression of political opponents by the ruling junta in Myanmar remains a threat to the security of the United States, President George W Bush has said in renewing wide-ranging financial and other sanctions against that country.
The extension comes with extension of a state of emergency regarding Myanmar, also known as Burma, that would have expired on Saturday. It has been in place since 1997.
Bush announced the extension on Thursday in Yuma, Arizona, a border area where he was visiting immigration facilities to press his request for tougher policies against illegal aliens.
"The crisis between the United States and Burma arising from the actions and policies of the government of Burma, including its policies of committing large-scale repression of the democratic opposition in Burma, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on May 20, 1997, has not been resolved," Bush said in a message to Congress.
"These actions and policies are hostile to US interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." Thus, the state of emergency and sanctions will continue for a year.
Former President Bill Clinton put the sanctions into effect in 1997 to punish the generals for their soldiers' repression against the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Then, Myanmar security forces were engaged in a nationwide crackdown on Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. It already had arrested 316 members to keep them from going to Yangon, the capital, for a party meeting.