US imposes new sanctions on Burma

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{image-burma protest_06022008.jpg}Washington, Feb 6: The Bush Administration has targeted family members of the leaders of Burma in the additional sanctions that the US announced on Feb 5 over its military government's human rights violations and suppression of democracy. Business figures, associated with the military regime have also been covered in the sanctions which extend to wives and close business associates of the country's military rulers.

The Treasury Department said it was targeting companies and key individuals of the Htoo Group of Companies, which are controlled by Burmese business tycoon Tay Za and which have acquired aircraft and other military hardware for the government.The Director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam Szubin said the Bush administration would continue to take action against the Rangoon government, and those who prop it up, so long as human rights violations continue and democracy is suppressed.

The United States had already blacklisted Tay Za and some 30 other prominent Burmese including military chief Than Shwe. Yesterday's action includes the spouses of four senior officials including the wife of Foreign Minister Nyan Win.

The designation freezes any assets the individuals and companies may have in US financial institutions and prohibits dealings with them by American persons or firms.

A White House statement said the Burmese government continued to keep Aung San Suu Kyi isolated, refuses to allow the return of UN envoy for Burma Ibrahim Gambari, and continued to hunt down peaceful activists.

It accused authorities of planning secret trials for 11 detained pro-democracy figures.


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