The Irrawaddy

US to Extend Burma Gems Ban

US congressional aides say the Obama administration plans to extend a ban on imports of rubies and jade from Burma because of the military’s involvement in the trade. The gemstones are sourced from border regions, particularly Kachin State, where violence between rebels and government forces has rumbled on. Three aides say President Barack Obama is expected to issue an executive order as 2003 sanctions legislation authorizing the ban lapsed July 27. The gems restriction has remained in place despite the lifting of a general ban on imports in November as sanctions were eased to reward Burma’s democratic reforms.—AP