No Removal of Sanctions, Only Suspension: US

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, and Aung San Suu Kyi speak to reporters during Clinton’s landmark visit to Burma in December 2011. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Asserting that its policy toward Burma is a “step-by-step” process, the US on Tuesday ruled out complete removal of economic sanctions against this Southeast Asian country, noting that based on the progress made by the new government, it finds it appropriate to only suspend these sanctions.

“This is a step-by-step process, and there’s quite a road to go, as I think our Burmese guests would agree with,” the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference where in the audience were some invited guests—a delegation of advisors from the Office of the Presidency in Burma. The delegation is currently visiting the United States at the invitation of the Asia Society and the US Institute of Peace.

“I think, as our Burmese visitors know better than anyone, we have been encouraging the kind of opening and reform that we are now seeing in Burma for many months,” she said.

Referring to a question regarding US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is the first US foreign minister to visit Burma since the 1950s, Nuland responded: “She said then that we would match action with action.

“So as Burma has gone forward with free, fair, parliamentary elections, has taken steps on the border, has begun to talk about opening its economy, we’ve tried to match those steps. We’ve had the naming of an ambassador,” she said.

“We’ve had the beginning of suspension of sanctions. We’re working now on being able to license our companies for investment, for trade, etcetera. But as we’ve said, these are suspensions,” she noted.

“These are not erasing of sanctions because our continued progress is contingent on Burma’s own continued progress in terms of democratic reform, economic opening, peace and security, national reconciliation, and good human rights standards throughout the country,” Nuland said.

Responding to a question on the Rohingya crisis in Burma, the spokesperson said the US has been urging Bangladesh to assume its international responsibilities.

“We have had contacts with both governments. As you know, we have been urging Bangladesh to open its border to treat refugees properly. We’ve been supportive and encouraging of the UN’s Special Envoy, who, I understand, is now … working with the Burmese government, working with the Rohingya to try to have a dialogue about grievances, to try to settle issues peacefully. And also, as I understand it, the UN’s envoy will be traveling to Bangladesh,” she said.

“I think the fact that they [Bangladesh and Burma] are in dialogue with the Burmese is a good thing. But again, we’d like to see that border open,” she said.

Meanwhile the United Nations announced that the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, will witness the signing of an agreement on Thursday in Burma to release children from the country’s armed forces.

The new action plan sets out concrete and time-bound activities to ensure the separation of underage recruits from the army children and to prevent further recruitment. While in Burma, Coomaraswamy will meet with Burmese President Thein Sein, government ministers, UN agencies, civil society and the diplomatic community, a UN spokesman said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday will hold a full committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Derek Mitchell as US ambassador to Burma.


4 Responses to No Removal of Sanctions, Only Suspension: US

  1. What is her view redarding the human genocide in her country in recent time?

  2. Yes!! This should be the way to go. Junta and its cronies cannot cheat the US this time. Let’s lift the sanction after NLD won 2015 election.

  3. I thought I live in a civilized democratic society.
    Sorry I was doing my research on life and matter in a way no one had ever done in the recent memory. Anyway I am living about same as you do. Perhaps I was at least less attached to anyone more than any others out of 7 billions.

    So why some people in our society still give the orders like they are god to the others? Our society is infested with more and more conflicts both visible and quiet, more and more hatred, bias, lies, multiple standards, master-slave relations, invisible big brothers.

    Media bias is at this time at the peak of the peaks – I would say absolute maximum point until we see even bigger level in the close future. There must be plenty of information we were not told, there have been a lot of fabrications, and ugly and often childish political plays.

    Not very long ago we have seen detonation of atomic bombs, agent orange chemical weapon spray, millions of tons of bombs dropped, creation of new type of dictators, using the weakness in the design of human desire for benefits.

    In this man eat man world, super powers are able to punish small powerless when they see things not in their liking. They own a lot of platforms on which they force the world population to rest their life on. And thus they have got powers to “kill” the life of peoples who do not worship them. So in this era if you are a weakling you either worship or fight for for your deserved freedom to find yourselves wiped out. If you try to learn science and technology to upgrade yourself to the upper level, again, you will be punished for another reason.

    There are billions almost endless things to talk about. But when the peoples discuss their purpose is to win – not for making long lasting happier, fairer, human society. Peoples who shout democracy are in fact promoting “animal farm”. Peoples of so-called free world are not open to accept or see the many other different views. They are attached, emotional, self serving.

    Our world has been physically and ecologically damaged by those powers of the society. The land, resources of the planet (which was never been designed and built by any one of us) have been monopolized by invaders and peoples who fight and kill other peace-loving communities since many hundreds of years back.

    Now most of the geographical information and private life of peoples in the poor countries have been constantly stolen, saved, stored and monitored by the owners of the technologies in the super powers.
    Simple life in the past have been forced to change by super powers , again, taking advantage of the weakness in the original design of human being – the desire.

    Now let’us come back to this article on sanction. So, they are most respected peoples of the whole world – then what if the world’s most powerful country commits crimes can we be able to take them to justice by for example putting a few sanctions on them? If not that what and where we are living in?

  4. Very beautiful use of fabulous words and phrases. Well you can foo those uneducated, narrow minded and worshipers.

    A lot of my Myanmar friends’ life have been with troubles because they can’t send and receive lawful funds over the global network of banking which is under the control of super powers (well my government included) due to so-called sanctions. They used to ask questions like “If a most powerful country commits crimes can other countries take that country to justice by putting a couple of sanctions”. If the answer is “no” then we are certainly living in the “animal garden” disguised like a civilized society.

    We have already destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives in the previous 100 or so years by invading, stealing others’ resources, stealing natural science knowledge by unlawfully on the others’ lands, atomic bombing, chemical sprays, lies, bias, fabrications, multiple standards, wiping out anything we don’t agree, dividing the other societies, etc. and so on.

    The planet have more than enough scars. And much more physically invisible scars are among the souls and minds of billions of peoples and in their so many generations in the past and in the future.

    Wake up the world. Be open minded, be fair, be free of bias and multiple standards, be open (I am talking about real openness) and start creating a long sustainable happier society for all of us. No one of us designed and built the planet. No one is supposed to take the dictatorship of the planet. Stop using “I am right you are wrong” and “Follow my way or get eliminated” attitudes.

    Education, arts, science and technology are for all of us to learn and discover to create the best possible and sustainable life for all the global dwellers. Don’t use the ownership of various platforms to control and govern the others’ life.

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