Obama Administration Supports Sanctions on Burma (click to view PDF)

U.S. Campaign for Burma
September 28th, 2009
Contact: Jeremy Woodrum (202) 246-7924

(Washington, DC) A leading United States-based human rights organization today welcomed the Obama Administration’s decision to maintain existing sanctions on Burma, as well as pursue further sanctions as circumstances warrant. The State Department said that unilaterally lifting sanctions would send the wrong signal to Burma’s military regime, and that sanctions would only be lifted if the regime makes concrete changes.

“We strongly commend the Obama administration for its pledge to implement sanctions on Burma until there is concrete progress toward democracy and human rights,” said Aung Din, Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma.

The Obama administration today concluded a 7-month policy review aimed at invigorating U.S. policy toward Burma. In addition to maintaining sanctions, the Administration said it would engage in a dialogue with the military regime aimed at a transition to democracy.


“High-level level talks with the military are a good thing,” added Aung Din. “However, this cannot be a never-ending process. There must be a timeframe and clear benchmarks for change, especially given the Burmese regime’s practice of engaging in never-ending diplomacy without any measurable results.”

While 66 U.S. Senators recently co-sponsored legislation renewing sanctions on Burma, a single U.S. Senator — Jim Webb (D-VA) — has called for the lifting of sanctions.   Through the policy review, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has rejected Webb’s approach, further saying “Engagement versus sanctions is a false choice.”

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