US Congress to consider bill to cut funds to Myanmar | world | Hindustan Times
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US Congress to consider bill to cut funds to Myanmar

world Updated: Dec 08, 2007 10:17 IST

The US Congress is planning to introduce a bill that seeks cutting off funds to the Myanmar regime in view of its "violent" crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

"In commemorating International Human Rights Day (Dec 10), we cannot forget the brutality inflicted on peaceful, protesting citizens in Burma this September," Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Lantos said.

"The murderous regime in Burma unleashed unprecedented cruelty against its own citizens. Troops shot unarmed protesters. Monks were bloodied. And thousands remained jailed as a result of a campaign of fear and intimidation", Lantos said in a statement.

"Myanmar's generals fund this viciousness by selling off the country's natural resources, especially oil and gems, while leaving Burma's people in poverty," he said.

"So we, who wish to defend the defenceless, have to hit the regime where it hurts, in the pocketbook", the lawmaker said.

Lantos, who is a Congressman from California, is the author of the "Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act (HR 3890)", which will halt the Burmese practice of avoiding US sanctions by laundering gemstones through third countries before they are sold here.