US to ease sanctions on Myanmar

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Messages:
    24,274
    Likes Received:
    11,287
    Location:
    BANGalore
    Washington/Tokyo: The US is to begin easing sanctions on Myanmar following the weekend by-election victory by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her allies, starting with a relaxation of restrictions on travel by Myanmar officials and on financial transactions and investment.
    Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, who made a historic trip to Myanmar in December, said the elections represented real change in a country dominated by military rule for decades and that the US would consider further steps if the pace of reform were maintained.
    "We applaud the president [Thein Sein] and his colleagues for their leadership and courage," she said. The country had embarked on "a historic new path".
    The announcement came as the European Union, Japan and Australia all said they were considering ways to ease sanctions and restrictions on doing business as a result of the by-elections, in which Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won 40 of the 45 seats at stake.
    The decisions underline the remarkably rapid turnround in attitudes towards Myanmar, which was treated as an international pariah for years but whose leaders have consistently surprised the international community with their commitment in recent months to political and economic reform.
    The US is constrained in its ability to respond to the political changes by the complex nature of the sanctions built up over 20 years, which include five different overlapping laws and which a senior administration official described on Wednesday as "Byzantine, to say the least". The initial steps would not require any legislative changes by Congress, where there is strong support in the Senate for relaxing some of the sanctions, although there is more resistance in the House of Representatives.
    The visa ban on Myanmar officials would be relaxed, with the foreign and health ministers expected to visit Washington shortly, although Mrs Clinton said this would not include those elements of the government "on the wrong side of these historic reform efforts".
    A senior administration official said that restrictions on investment in sectors such as tourism, agriculture and telecoms could be relaxed, although the mining and resources sectors would remain off-limits. Financial sanctions would also be amended to allow credit card transactions to be conducted. "We are taking the bluntness out of the sanctions," he said. "However, this can all be turned off and reversed quickly if there is backtracking."
    In Japan, the government has been quick to signal its interest in rebuilding economic and trade ties with Myanmar, which is considered a promising growth market, particularly for infrastructure projects.
    When Yoshihiko Noda, Japan's prime minister, met Thein Sein at the Association of South-east Asian Nations summit last November, Mr Noda said the Japanese government would consider wider economic relations with Myanmar. Since then Japan has been reviewing its aid policy towards Myanmar and is expected to announce the resumption of yen loans when Mr Thein visits Japan later this month.
    In the private sector, Japan's trading houses are already strengthening their presence in the country, in anticipation of warmer diplomatic ties.
    Marubeni Corp was the first to launch a liaison office in Myanmar's capital city of Naypyidaw in January, intending to develop stronger relationships with government officials. Mitsui & Co expects to establish a new office in Naypyidaw by the end of May.
    Current EU sanctions expire at the end of the month, requiring European foreign ministers to decide at their scheduled meeting in Brussels in a fortnight which sanctions they will retain. According to one European diplomat briefed on the discussions, the arms embargo will almost certainly remain, but almost all others " which include prohibitions on exports of multiple raw materials as well as visa bans and asset freezes on individuals and companies linked to the military regime " will be up for debate.
    Australia has also signalled that it will move to ease sanctions. Bob Carr, the foreign minister, on Wednesday said Canberra was "committed to providing tangible rewards for progress in Burma, including by easing our sanctions".

    http://m.ibnlive.com/news/us-to-ease-sanctions-on-myanmar/246123-70.html
     
  2.  
  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    What was the point of sanctioning Burma in first place? They don't want nuke weapons, they are not Islamic terrorists, they have nothing against US or NATO governments. This was plain aggression from NATO all these years because they could afford to push around a small Southeastern nation.

    This decision means we must ramp up our ties with Burma ASAP. As such with two Islamic fanatic nations around us, we are not exactly safe. We need more friendly neighbors. Let's have a neighborhood check:

    - SL joined the wrong boat .... again (after 71)
    - Nepal is close but still confused
    - Maldives is taken over by Arab-wannabes.
    - Burma has strong potential and is opening up to us.
    - Pakistan and Bangladesh are as usual in the same boat.
    - Mauritius is a strong ally.
    - Bhutan is a strong ally.

    Which means, we need Nepal and Burma on our side badly. That Communist lunatic Prachanda took our relations to the opposite side of the spectrum. We need to reverse it. Burma needs a trusted ally now and we should be that.

    If only we had the sensibility to suspend ALL ties with Pakistan and instead channel those efforts to the peaceful southeast Asia.
     
    pack leader, Mad Indian and W.G.Ewald like this.
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    US could make Burma the biggest ally in Southeast Asia apart from Philippines. The advantages are numerous:

    - Borders China & India.
    - Has huge gas reserves
    - Is a non-Muslim country.
    - Is an ASEAN member
    - If armed and trained well, can help in checking Islamic Jihad against non-Muslims in the region such as south Burma, south Thailand etc.
    - Can act as a possible secret base for US intelligence even if not for the ground troops.

    If only we had pragmatic leaders, we would jump on this opportunity.
     
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  5. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Winterland
    We never had much of a leader in India and we do not have to this day. It is all "CHATA HAI" attitude GOI. We will have to turn the administration on its head to get result as desired by me and you. USA's move is going to give CCP and PLA sleepless nights now.
     
  6. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,674
    Likes Received:
    2,923
    Location:
    Delhi, India, India
    Changes in Myanmar present a golden opportunity for India to make a strong bilalteral partner who belongs to ASEAN.
    The renewed US interest has made it clear that India can put the stakes high now. We should pull up the socks and run the show full throttle.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
  7. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    7,308
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    China: "Time to destabilise Myanmar?"
     
  8. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,524
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    The central government (read military junta) doesn't control many minority areas Shan, Wa, Kachin, Karen... in conflict with the Burmese dominated "Centre“ , which is a 3rd force apart from Suu Kyi's NDL and USDP backed by generals. When travlling in the north we found roads terribly rough, dated back to WW2. The border areas even rely on power supply from China and are covered by China's telecommunication. People deposited RMB in China's banks across the border instead of saving in Kyat.

    Aung Sang must have realized whoever takes over Myanmar must improve economy in order to STAY in power, thus she met China's ambassador recently for the 1st time
     

Share This Page