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House of Representatives Votes Unanimously To Increase Sanctions on Burma (click to view PDF)

U.S. Campaign for Burma Press Release
For Immediate Release
July 15th, 2008
Contact: Jeremy Woodrum (202) 246-7924, U.S. Campaign for Burma

(Washington, DC) A leading human rights group today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Block Burmese Jade Act, a bill that imposes financial and trade sanctions on Burma’s military regime. The legislation, led by the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Howard Berman (D-CA), passed unanimously. The legislation was originally spearheaded by the late Congressman Tom Lantos after Burma’s military regime crushed a democratic uprising led by Buddhist monks in September 2007. Lantos, the co-founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, passed away in February 2008.

“This legislation sends a strong signal to Burma’s military regime that the United States stands firmly on the side of my country’s democracy movement,” said Aung Din, co-founder of the U.S. Campaign for Burma. “We urge to the Senate to act quickly so that this legislation can be signed into law.”

Thousands of U.S. Campaign for Burma supporters contacted their members of Congress, urging them to pass the legislation.

The legislation bans the import of Burmese jadeite and rubies, major money-earners for the country’s military regime. It is estimated the military regime earns $300 million annually from the production of Burmese rubies and jade. The legislation also authorizes the President to appoint a Special Envoy and Policy Coordinator for Burma.