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USA-Burma relations

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: U.S. Relations With Burma Fact Sheet August 13, 2013
Date of publication: 13 August 2013
Description/subject: U.S. Relations With Burma: The United States supports a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Burma that respects the human rights of all its peoples. Elections in November 2010 led to a peaceful transition from sixty years of military rule to a quasi-civilian government headed by President Thein Sein. Under President Thein Sein, the Government of Burma has initiated a series of political and economic reforms which have resulted in a substantial opening of the long-isolated country. These reforms include the release of many political prisoners, ceasefire agreements with 12 of 13 major non-state armed groups, greater freedom of the press, and parliamentary by-elections in 2012 in which pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition party won 43 of the 44 seats they contested (out of 45) gaining approximately 11% representation in parliament. The Obama Administration has employed a calibrated engagement strategy to recognize the positive steps undertaken to date and to incentivize further reform. The guiding principles of this approach have been to support Burma’s political and economic reforms; promote national reconciliation; build government transparency, and accountability and institutions; empower local communities and civil society; and promote responsible international engagement and human rights. As part of our calibrated approach to support further reform, the United States has restored full diplomatic relations, re-established a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in country, supported assessment missions and technical assistance by international financial institutions, and eased financial and investment sanctions against Burma. President Obama’s trip to Burma in November 2012, the first visit of a sitting U.S. President, demonstrated the United States’ continuing support to Burma in its political and economic reform efforts...More information about Burma is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: Department of State Burma Country Page Doing Business in Burma page Department of State Key Officers List CIA World Factbook Burma Page USAID Burma Page Human Rights Reports International Religious Freedom Reports Trafficking in Persons Reports Narcotics Control Reports Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page"
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 June 2014


Title: Obama in Cambodia and Myanmar
Date of publication: 21 November 2012
Description/subject: "President Obama just concluded visit to Southeast Asia, which has sparked considerable media comment and criticism from human rights activists. Some of them claimed that the visit sent the wrong signal to repressive governments in Myanmar and Cambodia. In Myanmar, the visit was designed to highlight progress toward democratic reform made by the new nominally civilian government headed by Thein Sein since it replaced the military junta that had governed the country since 1972. Actions by the Myanmar government have included the release from house arrest of opposition activist and 1991 Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the freeing many (but not all) political prisoners, relaxation of strict controls on the media and the holding of a largely free and fair by election to fill some 40 parliamentary seats rendered vacant when the incumbents were appointed to senior government positions. Most notably Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to participate in these elections, winning a parliamentary seat and thus becoming the leader of the opposition. These dramatic developments have won widespread praise from the international community and the US government, which has responded by relaxing economic sanctions against the military regime and sending an Ambassador to Myanmar for the first time in over twenty years. More rewards are promised if the new government continues on its current reformist course, including the release of all remaining political prisoners and opening of the country to outside investment. Obama’s visit was intended as part of this gradual tit for tat process toward democracy and openness to the outside world..."
Author/creator: Don Jameson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014


Title: Mr. Obama goes to Myanmar
Date of publication: 19 November 2012
Description/subject: "...For President Obama the journey to Myanmar is a deeply symbolic one too. The fact that he received Myanmar government support to address an audience at the University of Yangon is key. After decades as a locus for political strife, the campus is still largely off-limits: a dented shell, rotting, tragic. In the old days I recall being gently shooed away from its vicinity, and I am yet, I must confess, to step foot on its contested ground. Elsewhere in the country I have spent time at a number of Universities, Colleges and the like. They are almost all in various states of decrepitude: hollowed out by dictatorial assessments of the uniquely destabilising potential of youth. My guess is that at the University today President Obama will use the podium to offer his special support to those who want to re-build Myanmar’s education system. Naturally he will also endorse those who seek to reform other facets of national life. He will then probably sound a note of warning about the need to build real peace with ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya. But his big message, if his speech writers have got the tone right, will be addressed to Myanmar’s rising generations. If Myanmar is to be a happier, wealthier and more inclusive society then the old generals will need to continue to surrender power and control. Who will replace them? With the results of the April 2012 by-election still reverberating, the Myanmar people seem convinced that the next government should be headed by Aung San Suu Kyi. But then who? In the excitement, we should not forget that it will be the young people in the audience and on the streets who will ultimately determine the country’s destiny. Will their elders give them the chances they so clearly deserve?"
Author/creator: Nicholas Farrelly
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014


Title: Burma Sanctions
Description/subject: Laws, rules, regulations and other documents related to the US Burma sanctions
Language: English (Spanish also available)
Source/publisher: US Department of the Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control - OFAC)
Format/size: html. pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Search results for Burma OR Myanmar
Description/subject: About 19,800 results for a search for "Burma Or Myanmar" on the CSIS site, September 2012
Language: English
Source/publisher: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://csis.org/
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: US Department of State
Description/subject: Search for Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: United States Dept of State
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: US Department of State: Burma page
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Department of State
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Congress resists Obama on Myanmar
Date of publication: 02 July 2014
Description/subject: "After a period of broad bipartisan support, US President Barack Obama's cautious opening towards Myanmar's reformist quasi-civilian government is starting to meet resistance in Congress. Concerns center on Obama's budding engagement with Myanmar's rights-abusing military and his administration's reluctance to place preconditions on expanding strategic ties..."
Author/creator: Steve Hirsch
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


Title: Promoting Peace in Myanmar - US Interests and Role
Date of publication: 01 May 2014
Description/subject: "Myanmar has made important progress toward democratic reform since President Thein Sein’s civilian government came to power in early 2011. Significant challenges, however, remain and could scuttle efforts at change. Key among these are the peace process between the government and armed ethnic groups in the border regions; communal tensions in Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh and in central Myanmar; and the free and fair conduct of the 2015 general elections, which could also impact the peace process and communal relations. This report explores the United States’ interests in peace in Myanmar and offers recommendations for how Washington can best promote it..."
Author/creator: Lynn Kuok
Language: English
Source/publisher: Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS)
Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs18/140428_Kuok_PeaceMyanmar_Web.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 June 2014


Title: Cracks Appear in US Myanmar Rapprochement
Date of publication: 30 April 2014
Description/subject: "New legislation signals growing concern over the Obama administration’s Myanmar policy...Recent legislation introduced to U.S. Congress to put conditions on U.S. cooperation with Myanmar’s military may be one of the first signs of emerging dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama’s rapprochement policy with the post-junta government. The bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives April 2 by Republican Steve Chabot, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and Democrat Joseph Crowley. It grows out of concerns that the Obama administration, having begun limited cooperation with Myanmar’s military, is moving too quickly without demanding reforms from Myanmar first. The bill is a modification of similar, earlier bipartisan House and Senate legislation and follows enactment of language in a funding law limiting spending for assistance to Myanmar..."
Author/creator: Steve Hirsch
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Diplomat"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 July 2014


Title: Myanmar, North Korea stay brothers in arms
Date of publication: 05 September 2013
Description/subject: "If a press statement from the US Department of Defense is to be believed, President Barack Obama is quite pleased with the reform process underway in Myanmar, especially recent progress ''that's been made on human rights''. The message was conveyed by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in late August when he met with his counterparts from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei, including Lieutenant-General Wai Lwin, the current defense minister of Myanmar, a former pariah state turned darling of the West. But there was an important caveat in Hagel's statement that indicated Washington's main concern in Myanmar is not democracy and human rights. Rather, he stressed ''it's important that Myanmar sever ties with North Korea''. Evidently Myanmar has not rolled back relations with Pyongyang despite persistent pressure from Washington, including during then secretary of state Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Myanmar in December 2011, and believed behind-the-scenes prodding from Japan and South Korea..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: Sustaining Myanmar’s Transition: Ten Critical Challenges
Date of publication: 24 June 2013
Description/subject: "...Transitions are never smooth, and it is likely that the situation on the ground in Myanmar will get messier before it gets better, especially as we start to see winners and losers in the process. Economic development will be uneven, investment will not be broad based, disputes over land rights will not do all that it can to be a reliable partner to Myanmar as the country works to ensure that current positive trends continue to 2015 and beyond..."
Author/creator: Priscilla Clapp and Suzanne DiMaggio
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Society
Format/size: pdf (321K-OBL version; 375K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Asia_Society-2013-06-Sustaining_Myanmars_Transition-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


Title: Will Ethnic Tensions Undermine US Myanmar Relations?
Date of publication: 21 May 2013
Description/subject: "Key Conclusions: Three interconnected and difficult issues need attention for the country to move forward—citizenship for the Rohingya; building capacity in the police to prevent violence against Muslims; and re-envisioning the country as one that is multi-ethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious. The transition from authoritarian rule to democracy could take decades. Key waypoints are the 2015 elections, implementing constitutional reforms, and the achievement of true civilian leadership. The US should engage on a broad range of issues and stop using sanctions as a diplomatic tool. An enduring partnership would involve sustained support for the transition across the spectrum of political interests, and transitional development assistance would expand to include programs for education, health, and the media..."
Author/creator: Jim Della-Giacoma
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG)
Format/size: html (35K)
Date of entry/update: 02 June 2013


Title: Change was in the Air as Obama Took Center Stage for the Day
Date of publication: 20 November 2012
Description/subject: "...“The US president’s trip means the United States has begun to focus more on Burma. It also means they have the political will to engage with Burma. It’s a good sign for anyone here who wants the democratic transition to succeed,” said author and Burmese historian Thant Myint-U, speaking to The Irrawaddy shortly after Obama’s speech..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Phyo Tha
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2012


Title: Obama in Burma: A Milestone for Reform or Groundwork for Oil-Friendly Junta Rule? (video)
Date of publication: 19 November 2012
Description/subject: "President Obama made history today by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Burma. During his six-hour visit, Obama met with President Thein Sein and visited the home of the opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, where she was confined under house arrest for most of two decades before her release two years ago. Obama’s new openness toward Burma has drawn concern from human rights activists who say such overtures of friendship are "premature" due to continuing political violence plaguing large swathes of the country. We’re joined by Jennifer Quigley of the U.S. Campaign for Burma and journalist Peter Popham, author of "The Lady and The Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Democracy Now"
Format/size: Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2012


Title: Obama speech at University of Yangon - DVB Live (video)
Date of publication: 19 November 2012
Description/subject: President Obama gave a speech to a crowded Convocation Hall at Rangoon University. He lauded the country’s ongoing reform process, addressed the recent unrest in Arakan state and ceasefires with ethnic groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash (34 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2012


Title: Ethnic key to US role in Myanmar
Date of publication: 10 October 2012
Description/subject: "...The present danger in Myanmar is that the US and other Western nations have focused solely on the figures of Thein Sein and Suu Kyi, both of whom dominated the limelight during recent trips to the US. By contrast, ethnic minority groups, including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan, have received comparatively scarce attention and have generally been relegated to the margins of US and European engagement initiatives. Minority ethnic groups, most of which have been disempowered, oppressed and impoverished by a succession of repressive military regimes for the past six decades, now find themselves at a significant disadvantage in bringing critical facts to the fore... Washington would be well advised to take a more balanced approach to engagement and development in Myanmar and one more inclusive of ethnics, or risk a repeat of the interventions in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. "
Author/creator: Tim Heinemann
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2012


Title: US-Burma Military Ties ‘Would Push Reform’
Date of publication: 12 September 2012
Description/subject: "The United States should engage with Burma’s armed forces, collaborate with China and further roll back sanctions to enhance reforms, urges a leading think-tank. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) visited Burma in August to explore the current political, economic and social transformation enacted by President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government and reported that greater regional engagement was needed including joint military exercises. “If the military continues to support the transition to civilian rule and observes ceasefires in ethnic minority areas, the United States should begin to consider joint military exercises with the Myanmar armed forces and provide selected Myanmar officers access to US International Military Education and Training opportunities in US defense academies,” read a CSIS report on the trip released on Wednesday..."
Author/creator: Charlie Campbell
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: CSIS Myanmar Trip Report STATE OF THE NATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR U.S. POLICY
Date of publication: 10 September 2012
Description/subject: SUMMARY: "In August 2012, a group of senior CSIS Asia specialists visited Myanmar to explore the political, economic, and social reforms launched by the new civilian government and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. government. The trip is part of a Myanmar Project launched by CSIS and funded in part by the C.V. Starr Foundation. The CSIS delegation was led by Ernest Bower, director and senior adviser, Southeast Asia Program, and included Michael Green, senior vice president and Japan Chair, Christopher Johnson, senior adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies, and Murray Hiebert, deputy director and senior fellow, Southeast Asia Program. Eileen Pennington, deputy director of the Women’s Empowerment Program at the Asia Foundation, accompanied the group as an observer. Myanmar is in the early stages of moving toward transformational change in nearly all respects, including political and economic reform, the opening of space for civil society, empowerment of women, defining foreign policy and national security priorities, and finding a path to reconciliation with its diverse ethnic groups. However, there was evidence that significant challenges remain with respect to governance and reconciliation with ethnic minorities and that rights abuses continue in some areas, despite the overall positive direction from the leadership of the new government. Real change appears to be under way, but it is not irreversible. Myanmar’s government, opposition leaders, civil society groups, and business leaders all emphasized that there is an urgency and immediacy around the process of change in their country. The United States should be aware that there are important, perhaps even historic, opportunities to promote and support reform. It needs also to be aware of substantial threats to reform and transparency. Developing a policy to navigate through these opportunities and challenges will require thoughtful consideration and intense focus. Actions the United States takes in Myanmar are intrinsically linked to the U.S. relationship with ASEAN and its broader Asia Pacific regional strategy. This report provides an executive summary of the CSIS team’s perspectives, shares its findings, and makes near-term recommendations for U.S. policy relating to Myanmar."
Author/creator: Ernest Bower, Michael Green, Christopher Johnson, and Murray Hiebert
Language: English
Source/publisher: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Format/size: pdf (174K)
Alternate URLs: http://csis.org/
Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


Title: Mitchell Confirmed as Ambassador to Burma
Date of publication: 02 July 2012
Description/subject: "WASHINGTON—The United States Senate on Friday confirmed the nomination of Derek Mitchell as the first US Ambassador to Burma in two decades. He is soon expected to travel to the country to head the mission in the country. Mitchell, currently the special US representative and policy coordinator for Burma, has been a key player in implementing the Burma policy of the Obama administration. “I congratulate Derek Mitchell on his confirmation as our ambassador to Burma,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “He has done an excellent job in his current role as Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma. His experience will serve us well in the region as he builds on the strong foundation established by Michael Thurston and our embassy team in Rangoon,” McConnell said..."
Author/creator: Lalit K. Jha
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2012


Title: Myanmar Awakening and U.S. National Interests
Date of publication: 26 April 2012
Description/subject: Let me begin by stipulating my answers to several questions that have preoccupied us all over the last several years. We have debated whether any change could take place in Burma. Subsequently we debated whether any real change had transpired. Now we are debating whether enough change has taken place to satisfy us, on the assumption that we will decide the future of Burma. What nine separate trips in a little over two years have taught me are: 1) significant changes have already taken place, 2) reforms are real, and although there are certain to be setbacks, the reform trend seems likely to continue and 3) absent further changes the United States will be playing an increasingly marginal role in a fast-paced drama in which almost all other nations have dropped or suspended sanctions to take advantage of growing opportunities: ... U.S. National Interests... The questions with which we should be concerned now are: 1. Why should the US be interested in Myanmar? What long term U.S. national interests are involved in Myanmar? 2. What can the United States do now to encourage the emergence of a new, more peaceful, friendly, and democratic Myanmar?... In real estate three things determine value: location, location, and location. The same can be said of Myanmar. It is strategically situated below China, between the emerging mega-nations of Asia --- India and China. Myanmar has become increasingly reliant on China for weapons, official development assistance, and foreign direct investment. If Myanmar were to become a full-fledged client state of China, this would change the regional strategic balance. To avoid overdependence on any one nation, Myanmar officials over the past year have articulated a more omni-directional foreign policy that is equally friendly toward ASEAN, China, India, Japan, and the United States. Beneath the surface, even when the relationship with China seemed most intimate, Burmese nationalism and antipathy toward the growing number of Chinese nationals working inside Myanmar motivated the Myanmar elite (including most especially the military elite) to look outward, first to ASEAN and now to the entire outside world (including the United States). ... The United States could safely ignore more than fifty-five million people, living in a resource rich country the size of Texas, located just above the vital Strait of Malacca, as long as Myanmar was consumed by its own internal conflicts and led by a military elite that largely ignored, and was ignored by most of the outside world. As long as the outside world remained more or less uniformly willing to ignore Myanmar, the United States could afford to overlook Myanmar’s strategic and economic potential while concentrating almost exclusively on the odious qualities of the Burmese government. The world has changed. China has risen. The United States has pivoted back to Southeast Asia. Myanmar is now simply more accessible in political and economic terms than it has been for the last 50 years. Will the United States take advantage of the new opportunities or will it miss the boat?
Language: English
Source/publisher: Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Format/size: pdf (67K)
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2012


Title: Advancing Myanmar’s Transition: A Way Forward for U.S. Policy
Date of publication: 16 February 2012
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In January 2012, an Asia Society delegation visited Burma/Myanmar to engage in a Track II dialogue with the Myanmar Development Resources Institute (MDRI), a newly created, independent think tank based in Yangon. The MDRI participants in the dialogue include advisors with a mandate to provide policy advice in the areas of political, economic, and legal affairs to President Thein Sein and his government. The goal of this informal dialogue is to establish an ongoing channel of communication between experts from both countries and to explore opportunities to advance U.S.–Myanmar relations during a particularly fluid and fragile period of transition in Myanmar. The Asia Society group includes specialists in the areas of political affairs, rule of law, democracy building, economic development, and environmental sustainability. In addition to the Track II meetings with presidential advisors, our group held in-depth discussions with senior officials in the following ministries: Foreign Affairs, Culture, Commerce, Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Health, Science and Technology, Education, and Information. Our group also met with business leaders; members of civil society; representatives from the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Aung San Suu Kyi; and a wide array of community activists, including minority nationalities. This effort builds on the work carried out by Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Burma/Myanmar, as well as seminal meetings convened by Asia Society in New York in September 2011 that brought together for the first time policy makers from Myanmar, the United States, and the broader international community to informally discuss prospects for reform in Myanmar. This report provides our assessment of the nature of the changes that are under way in Myanmar and the challenges and vulnerabilities that the country faces. We conclude by recommending measures that the United States can undertake at this critical moment to encourage, support, and advance the institutionalization of sustainable democracy in Myanmar."
Author/creator: Priscilla Clapp and Suzanne DiMaggio
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Society
Format/size: pdf (262K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Asia_Soc-us_policy_myanmar_report-2012-02.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013


Title: U.S. Sanctions on Burma
Date of publication: 07 February 2012
Description/subject: SUMMARY: "Existing U.S. sanctions on Burma are based on various U.S. laws and presidential executive orders. This report provides a brief history of U.S. policy towards Burma and the development of U.S. sanctions, a topical summary of those sanctions, and an examination of additional sanctions that have been considered, but not enacted, by Congress, or that could be imposed under existing law or executive orders. The report concludes with a discussion of options for Congress. The current U.S. sanctions on Burma were enacted, for the most part, due to what the U.S. government saw as a general disregard by Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), for the human rights and civil liberties of the people of Burma. The actions of the new quasi-civilian government in Burma have initiated a discussion on when and how to possibly remove some of the existing sanctions. The Obama Administration recently announced it would for the first time in 21 years nominate a candidate to serve as U.S. ambassador to Burma and would welcome a Burmese ambassador to the United States. Burma-specific sanctions began following the Tatmadaw’s violent suppression of popular protests in 1988, and have continued through several subsequent periods in which Congress perceived major human rights violations in Burma. The result is a web of overlapping sanctions with differing restrictions, waiver provisions, expiration conditions, and reporting requirements. The United States currently imposes sanctions specifically on Burma via five laws and four presidential documents. These sanctions can be generally divided into several broad categories, such as visa bans, restrictions on financial services, prohibitions of Burmese imported goods, a ban on new investments in Burma, and constraints on U.S. assistance to Burma. Past Congresses have considered a variety of additional, stricter sanctions on Burma. In addition to the targeted sanctions, Burma is currently subject to certain sanctions specified in U.S. laws based on various functional issues. In many cases, the type of assistance or relations restricted or prohibited by these provisions is also addressed under Burma-specific sanction laws. The functional issues include the use of child soldiers, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, failure to protect religious freedoms, violations of workers’ rights, and threats to world peace and the security of the United States. On March 30, 2011, SPDC formally dissolved itself and transferred power to the new Union Government, headed by President Thein Sein, ex-general and prime minister for the SPDC. On four separate occasions since his appointment, President Thein Sein has ordered the release of prisoners, including a number of political prisoners. The Union Government has also initiated ceasefire talks with various ethnic-based militias, and altered laws to allow opposition parties to participate in parliamentary elections. However, the continuation of serious human rights abuses has raised questions about the extent to which there has been significant political change in Burma. Consideration is being given by the Obama Administration to the selective removal or alteration of sanctions as part of an effort to foster more reform in Burma. The 112th Congress may consider either the imposition of additional sanctions or the removal of some of the existing sanctions, depending on the conduct of Burma’s new Union Government and other developments in Burma. This report will be updated as conditions warrant."
Author/creator: Michael F. Martin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Congressional Research Service
Format/size: pdf (370K)
Date of entry/update: 04 April 2012


Title: US gambles on Myanmar reform
Date of publication: 04 December 2011
Description/subject: "United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's symbolic visit to Myanmar can be chalked up as a "win" for President Thein Sein by achieving what military regimes were unable to do - garner a semblance of respect. That is tempered by the belief that concessions were as much about countering the regime's ties to China and North Korea as promoting democracy. As the sincerity of reform is far from certain, the US is taking a gamble..."
Author/creator: Brian McCarten
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 December 2011


Title: Conditional Normalization with Myanmar
Date of publication: 30 November 2011
Description/subject: "Over the past year, Myanmar, ruled for five decades by the military, has undergone its most dramatic reforms in decades. A new civilian government has begun opening the economy, freeing political prisoners, relaxing censorship, and allowing the opposition to reenter politics. The reforms offer the best chance for change in Myanmar in fifty years and a rare window that American policymakers should not miss. To respond, the United States should launch a new conditional normalization that is far more comprehensive than the White House’s current policy. Working with other industrialized democracies, the United States should be prepared to provide a large new aid package, upgrade relations, push for Myanmar’s reentry into global organizations, and potentially end sanctions—if, in return, Myanmar continues to move toward holding free elections, ending its insurgencies, and demonstrating real transparency about its weapons programs. Through this policy shift, the United States could prevent instability that could spread to Thailand, India, and other partners; stop Myanmar’s development of nuclear programs; and help promote democratization in one of the world’s most repressive countries..."
Author/creator: Joshua Kurlantzick
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Council on Foreign Relations (POLICY INNOVATION MEMORANDUM N O . 1 1)
Format/size: pdf (57K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.cfr.org/burmamyanmar/conditional-normalization-myanmar/p26554?cid=nlc-dailybrief-daily_n...
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2011


Title: Background Briefing on Secretary Clinton's Travel to Burma
Date of publication: 29 November 2011
Description/subject: Special Briefing Senior State Department Official En Route Busan, South Korea November 29, 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Department of State
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2011


Title: Anticipations and Anticipated Responses: The United States and the 2010 Burmese Elections
Date of publication: November 2010
Description/subject: "The Obama administration’s initiative to review U.S. policy in six countries, of which Burma/Myanmar1 was one, was taken as a welcome sign among most observers of the Burma/Myanmar scene with the exception of those deeply committed to endorsing even more stringent measures against Naypyidaw.2 They were unrealistically fearful that the Obama administration would completely reverse the policies of the previous Republican and Democratic regimes. This was politically impossible in the United States at that time. Welcome and obvious, but modest, signals, however, had been sent by both the Americans and the Burmese that increased contacts were desirable. The Burmese foreign minister had an unprecedented meeting with a mid-level State Department official in March 2009, and the United States indicated it would consider signing (and later did) the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, which it had not done in large part because of Myanmar’s ASEAN membership, which the U.S. adamantly opposed, in 1997. The beginnings of such contacts moved the possibility of progress forward. The constraints of the domestic U.S. political scene resulted in a modified policy from isolation and regime change under both the Clinton and the Bush administrations to “pragmatic engagement,” essentially meaning the continuation of the sanctions regimen together with dialogue at a relatively high diplomatic level aimed at the amelioration of human rights violations and governance excesses associated with the junta. In a quiet shift, “regime change” and the honoring of the May 1990 elections swept by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) were discarded...Now, as this essay is written in June 2010, a sense of frustration over the lack of progress seems evident in both the American and Burmese camps. In Washington, there is increasing talk of even further sanctions beyond those instituted in 1988 (cutting off military sales and support, as well as the U.S. economic assistance and anti-narcotics programs), 1997 (prohibiting new investment), 2003 (denying imports and the U.S. banking system to the Burmese state), and 2008 (focusing on jade and ruby import restrictions)..."
Author/creator: David I. Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
Format/size: pdf (173K)
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2010


Title: Current Realities and Future Possibilities in Burma/Myanmar: Options For U.S. Policy (Task Force Report update)
Date of publication: 26 October 2010
Description/subject: "In September 2009, Barack Obama’s administration announced a new U.S. policy direction for relations with Burma/Myanmar. Over the past year, this new course has moved the United States away from previous efforts to isolate Burma’s ruling generals, balancing economic sanctions with “pragmatic engagement” and initiating efforts to expand channels of communication with the military leadership at higher levels of authority. Against this backdrop, the Asia Society established a Task Force on U.S. Policy toward Burma/Myanmar in the fall of 2009 to assess the shift in American policy and provide concrete recommendations for how the United States could best approach this new path of engagement. The Task Force’s report, Current Realities and Future Possibilities in Burma: Options for U.S. Policy, was released in March 2010.1 With elections set to be held on November 7, the first in Burma in 20 years, this update provides an overview of key developments in Burma since the Task Force’s report was published. For reasons outlined here, it is clear that the upcoming elections will not be inclusive or fair. In short, Burma’s military leaders have willfully ignored calls from the international community to allow the full participation of opposition leaders and ethnic minorities in the elections..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Society
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2013


Title: US/ASEAN: Three Years After Crackdown, No Justice in Burma
Date of publication: 23 September 2010
Description/subject: US-ASEAN Summit is Moment to Align Divergent Policies Ahead of Elections (New York) - US and Southeast Asian leaders meeting in New York this week should press the Burmese government to end an escalating campaign of repression, release political prisoners, and begin a dialogue with opposition groups ahead of Burma's coming flawed elections, Human Rights Watch said today. September marks the third anniversary of the brutal 2007 crackdown on peaceful protests led by monks and known as the "Saffron Revolution." US President Barack Obama and leaders of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold a summit in New York on September 24, 2010, the eve of the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/09/23/usasean-three-years-after-crackdown-no-justice-burma?print">http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/09/23/usasean-three-years-after-crackdown-no-justice-burma?print
http://www.hrw.org
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2010


Title: Aung San Suu Kyi and U.S. Policy toward Burma/Myanmar
Date of publication: August 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: No living foreigner has shaped contemporary U.S. attitudes toward a single country more than Aung San Suu Kyi. As the seemingly vulnerable international avatar of democracy, she has effectively determined the parameters of possible U.S. policy choices. Although her Burma/Myanmar specific goals and those of the U.S. overlap, they are not contiguous. That country is a “boutique” issue in U.S. politics – important but not of the highest priority. The U.S. will face difficult policy decisions toward Burma/ Myanmar following the formation of the new Burmese administration after the elections of November 7, 2010.  Manuscript received 9 July 2010; accepted 5 August 2010 Keywords: Burma/Myanmar, United States, policy, house, senate
Author/creator: Steinberg, David
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 29, 3, 35-59
Format/size: pdf (447.07 K)
Alternate URLs: http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa
Date of entry/update: 17 December 2010


Title: US engagement with Myanmar falters
Date of publication: 17 May 2010
Description/subject: BANGKOK - After the only outcomes of a visit to Myanmar by a high-level United States diplomat were "profound" disappointment over its election preparations and a stronger line over its nuclear links with North Korea, President Barack Obama on Friday formally extended sanctions against the country. Washington's extension of the sanctions followed the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Kurt Campbell to Naypyidaw, the capital, on May 9 for a two-day visit. Campbell met top officials such as Foreign Minister Nyan Win, Information Minister Kyaw Hsan, Science and Technology Minister U Thaung - the point man for US-Myanmar engagement - and Labor Minister U Aung Kyi
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 October 2010


Title: Current Realities and Future Possibilities in Burma/Myanmar: Options For U.S. Policy - Asia Society Task Force Report
Date of publication: 31 March 2010
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In September 2009, the United States announced a new course in its policy toward Burma following a seven-month review undertaken by the Barack Obama administration.1 Recognizing that decades of pursuing policies of isolation and sanctions had done little to influence change among Burma's military leaders, the United States introduced a policy of "pragmatic engagement." Under this new policy, the United States will maintain its sanctions on Burma while simultaneously undertaking direct dialogue with senior leaders of the Burmese regime. Dialogue, according to the United States, will "supplement, rather than replace," decades of U.S. sanctions policy. These talks have already begun, and the United States has indicated that any improvement in relations between the two countries is possible only when Burma's military regime enacts meaningful and concrete reforms in the country, particularly in the areas of democracy and human rights.2 In adjusting its policy toward Burma, the United States must face reality with clear vision. Among other things, this vision must recognize that the United States' ability to solve Burma's problems and to influence the course of the country's governance is extremely limited, as nearly 20 years experience with a harsh punitive policy of isolation and sanctions have demonstrated. U.S. influence in Burma is unlikely to outweigh that of increasingly powerful Asian neighbors. Therefore, the United States' priority must be to clarify its fundamental objectives in Burma and the basic means at its disposal for promoting those objectives. Moreover, Burma is not likely to rank very high on the list of U.S. foreign policy priorities in the foreseeable future, so resources to address U.S. goals in Burma will be limited, compared to priority countries and regions. The Task Force believes that the United States must approach policy adjustments with careful consideration of how the instruments that are available -- including both the engagement and sanctions sides of the equation -- can be employed most effectively to encourage reform and democratic governance. Through its programs and support for the Burmese people, the United States can demonstrate that it is steady but flexible and quick to react to any potential overtures from the Burmese government. Specifically, during this period of transition, the United States should encourage the process of political development toward democratic norms; press the military regime to improve governance; and assist the country's non-Burman nationalities in pursuing an equitable voice in national governance. The basic means available to the United States to pursue these goals will be effective channels of communication; focused assistance programs; reform-oriented economic activity; coordination with Burma's neighbors and the broader international community; and tightening of targeted financial sanctions, if and when necessary. Going forward, it will be useful to consider distinctions based on change in Burma for framing U.S. policy recommendations. The Task Force makes the following recommendations, which are organized into three distinct stages: (1) measures to be pursued now; (2) additional measures to be implemented if and when the United States begins to see indications of change on the part of the Burmese leadership; and (3) actions to be undertaken after real progress has been demonstrated on a sustained basis..."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Asia Society
Format/size: pdf (600K)
Alternate URLs: http://asiasociety.org/policy-politics/international-relations/us-asia/current-realities-and-future...
http://asiasociety.org/files/pdf/TaskForce_ExecutiveSummaryBurmese.pdf (Executive Summary, Burmese)
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2010


Title: Current Realities and Future Possibilities in Burma/Myanmar: Perspectives from Asia
Date of publication: 31 March 2010
Description/subject: Table of Contents: Foreword... Introduction... Current Dimensions, Future Directions: Australian Policy toward Burma... Assessing the Current Situation in Myanmar: A Perspective from China... From Isolation to Engagement: Reviewing India's Policy toward Myanmar... The Quest for the "Middle Way": Indonesian Perspectives on Current Developments in Myanmar... Japan's Policy toward Myanmar: A Special Responsibility... Pragmatic Diplomacy: Reviewing International and Malaysian Policy toward Myanmar... Developing an International Policy toward Burma/Myanmar: Philippine Perspectives... From Proxy to Principle: A Review of Singapore's Myanmar Policy... Thailand's Burma/Myanmar Dilemma: Domestic Determinants and Regional/International Constraints... Appendix 1: Executive Summary: Report of the Asia Society Task Force on US Policy toward Burma/Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Society
Format/size: pdf (894K)
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2010


Title: The United States and Myanmar: a ‘boutique issue’?
Date of publication: 18 January 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "Myanmar has been one of a number of countries that the new American Executive branch selected for policy reconsideration. The Obama administration's review of relations with Myanmar, characterized as a ‘boutique issue’ during the presidential campaign, has received considerable attention in 2009, and in part was prompted by quiet signals sent by both sides that improved relations were desirable. Begun as an intense policy review by various agencies, it has been supplemented by the first visits in 15 years to the country by senior US officials. The policy conclusion, that sanctions must remain in place but will be supplemented by dialogue, is a politically realistic compromise given the strong congressional and public antipathy to the military regime and the admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi, whose purported views have shaped US policies. US claims of the importance of Myanmar as a security and foreign policy concern have also been a product of internal US considerations as well as regional realities. US—Burmese relations since independence have been strongly influenced by the Cold War and China, whose strategic interests in Myanmar have been ignored in the public dialogue on policy until recently, with US policy focused on political and human rights concerns. Attention is now concentrated on parliamentary and local elections to be held in 2010, after which the new constitution will come into effect and provide the military with a taut reign on critical national policies while allowing opposition voices. Future relations will be strongly influenced by the transparency and freedom both of the campaigning and vote counting, and the role—if any—of the opposition National League for Democracy. Strong scepticism exists in the US on prospects unless the Burmese institute extensive reforms. The Burmese military, presently controlling all avenues of social mobility, will have a major role in society for decades. The article initially evaluates US policies towards Myanmar prior to 1988, when a military coup marked a negative shift in US—Myanmar relations, from cooperation to a US sanctions regime. It looks at the influence China's involvement in Myanmar and the role Aung San Suu Kyi have had on the formulation of US policy towards the country and assesses the prospects for the US-Myanmar relationship under the Obama administration."
Author/creator: DAVID I. STEINBERG
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Affairs Volume 86, Issue 1
Format/size: pdf (204.95 KB)
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2010


Title: One-sided Engagement Won't Work
Date of publication: December 2009
Description/subject: The Obama administration’s more conciliatory approach to Burma will be short-lived unless the country’s rulers act soon to reciprocate
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 9
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17320
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Playing with Superpowers
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Burma’s generals have a history of juggling relations with Washington and Beijing... "If ever the Burmese regime made it clear it preferred “Made in America” to “Made in China,” it would be no surprise to see relations between China and Burma suffer a severe hiccup. China is now keenly observing Washington’s new policy toward the Burmese regime and Burma’s opposition movement. At the same time, Beijing is observing the unpredictable Naypyidaw regime’s paukphaw (kinship) commitment to China. Burma’s former dictator, Ne Win, (left) met then US President Lyndon Johnson in 1966. Burmese military officers used Western weapons to counter Chinese-backed insurgents in the past. They have long memories of Chinese chauvinism and Beijing’s efforts to export communism to Burma and install a government sympathetic to Mao Zedong’s communist ideology. Those days are long gone. China became Burma’s staunchest ally after the regime brutally crushed the pro-democracy uprising in 1988. For the past 21 years, China has adopted its paukphaw policy toward Burma and played an influential role there..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 8
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17143
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: US takes a radical turn on Myanmar
Date of publication: 30 September 2009
Description/subject: The Barack Obama administration has broken ranks with its recent predecessors in announcing its intention to engage Myanmar's ruling generals while also maintaining economic and financial sanctions against the military regime. The outgoing George W Bush administration imposed new financial sanctions against individual regime members and their associates, and often referred to Myanmar as an "outpost of tyranny".
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


Title: Burma: US Should Complete Policy Review
Date of publication: 09 September 2009
Description/subject: The Obama administration should promptly conclude its Burma policy review and adopt initiatives to make its policies on diplomacy, sanctions and humanitarian aid more effective, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released today.
Language: English, Japanese
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/09/burma-us-should-completequicken-policy-review?print
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/09-0 (Japanese)
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


Title: Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Current Burma Policy Review
Date of publication: 09 September 2009
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/09/09/letter-secretary-state-hillary-clinton-current-burma-policy-r...
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2010


Title: No Turning Back
Date of publication: September 2009
Description/subject: Burma's rulers would like to have friendly relations with Washington, but that won't happen unless they make significant changes...It's no secret that the regime in Burma wants to repair its frosty relationship with America. It would especially like to see the lifting of US sanctions, which have an impact not only on the general population, but are also hampering the junta leaders' ambition to build a modern armed forces... "If Burma"good old days"1,000-mile destination."..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


Title: BURMA: SENIOR GENERALS START A CONVERSATION; HOW WILL WE RESPOND?
Date of publication: 18 August 2009
Description/subject: Summary: "Burma's senior generals used Senator Webb's visit to deliver an unequivocal message: the GOB wants better relations with the United States. They want direct communication with Washington and have identified an envoy -- regime insider and former Ambassador to the United States U Thaung. It is certain Than Shwe believes he has unclenched its fist -- granting a first-ever meeting with a U.S. official, arranging a session for Senator Webb with Aung San Suu Kyi, and deporting an American prisoner as a sign of "friendship." The generals will look for a response. We should allow Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win to visit the Embassy in Washington following UNGA. We should undertake immediate discourse with U Thaung, including soon at the Washington level, to sketch out mutual expectations. Meanwhile, we should renew efforts publicly and privately to encourage dialogue between the regime and a "pragmatic" National League for Democracy, while seeking to consult with ASSK throughout the process." End summary.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: BURMA: SENATOR WEBB'S MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER THEIN SEIN
Date of publication: 17 August 2009
Description/subject: Summary: "During a one-hour meeting with Prime Minister Thein Sein on August 14, Senator Webb requested a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK) and urged her release from house arrest, noting the positive impact it would have on bilateral relations and Burma's standing in the world. The Senator also sought the release and deportation of detained American John Yettaw. Using classic regime rhetoric, the PM criticized sanctions as harming the economy and hindering democracy, and explained the regime's roadmap, promising free, fair and inclusive elections. That said, the Prime Minister made clear that Burma wants better relations with the U.S. as well as the ability to communicate directly with Washington; the regime has tapped Science and Technology Minister and former Ambassador to the U.S. U Thaung as a direct line to the GOB. The tone of the meeting was positive and cordial, with both Senator Webb and the Prime Minister citing the benefits that improved bilateral relations could offer if certain issues are resolved." End summary.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: Burma: Economic Sanctions
Date of publication: 03 August 2009
Description/subject: Summary: "On October 19, 2007, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13449. This followed a September 25, 2007 statement by President Bush that sanctions against Burma, which have been in place since 1997, would be tightened to specifically target leading Burmese officials and impose additional financial and travel sanctions. This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions. It will be updated as events warrant."
Author/creator: Larry A. Niksch, Martin A. Weiss
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Congressional Research Service
Format/size: pdf (140K)
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2010


Title: Sticks or Carrots?
Date of publication: August 2009
Description/subject: The new US administration has sent a strong signal that it wants to take a more active role in dealing with Burma... "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's message to Burma was loud and clear, but it is still uncertain what direction exactly the US will take in trying to engage the troubled country..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


Title: Sink or Swim
Date of publication: June 2009
Description/subject: "Can efforts to relax US sanctions against Burma stay afloat in the wake of John William Yettaw’s fateful swim across Inya Lake?... NOBODY knows for sure what inspired John William Yettaw to don a pair of homemade flippers and swim across Inya Lake to the home of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. But if his intention was to frustrate efforts to open a new chapter in US relations with Burma’s ruling regime, all we can say is: Mission Accomplished. Suu Kyi enters the Insein Prison building where the trial is being held. Of course, Yettaw should not be the one held accountable for the hardening of attitudes toward the Burmese junta in the wake of this incident. For that, Burma’s generals have only themselves to thank..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw, Neil Lawrence
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 June 2009


Title: BURMA'S GENERALS: STARTING THE CONVERSATION
Date of publication: 02 April 2009
Description/subject: Summary: " As the review of U.S. policy regarding Burma continues amid signs that the military regime wants to engage with Washington, we offer some thoughts about the senior generals, what motivates them, what they might want from engagement, and what the U.S. might place on the table. Burma's military machine is top-down, xenophobic and utterly focused on preserving national unity. At the same time, senior generals are embarrassed by their international pariah status and crave respect. Some are concerned with Burma's ever-growing dependence on China and its geostrategic location amidst historical foes. Others, having seen a glimpse of the international community's benevolence following Nargis, no doubt wish for a lifting of sanctions and economic assistance. No matter the motivations, a dialogue with Burma's senior military leaders will be slow, frustrating, and, within the U.S., politically charged. While dialogue is unlikely to yield major, near-term political outcomes such as changes to the constitution, it might sow seeds for future change by illustrating to the next line of leaders what an improved relationship with the U.S. could look like. Above all, a dialogue could lead to tangible benefits for Burma's long-suffering people, a worthwhile goal in itself." End summary.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: It's Time to Play the Villains' Game
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: "...Until now, the world has been divided into two camps when it comes to how to deal with Burma - those who support sanctions and those who urge constructive engagement. Western countries led by the US have applied sanctions, while Burma's neighbors, including members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China and India, have favored engagement. But things seem to be changing. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted at a shift in Western thinking when she said during a recent Asia tour: "Clearly, the path we have taken in imposing sanctions hasn't influenced the Burmese junta." But she also made clear that the alternative policy followed by Burma's neighbors is also ineffective, adding: "Reaching out and trying to engage them [the Burmese generals] hasn't influenced them, either." Clinton announced that the new US administration is reviewing its Burma policy - "because we want to see the best ideas about how to influence the Burmese regime."It's obvious, however, that US policy makers have no clear idea which idea is best. Nevertheless, a departure from the policy that first applied sanctions against Burma in 1997 can be expected..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009


Title: Listening to Asia
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: In a wide-ranging interview with The Irrawaddy, the United States' ambassador to Thailand, Eric G John, spoke about what Asia - and the countries of Asean in particular - can expect from the foreign policy program of Barack Obama's presidency.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009


Title: Burma and Obama
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: "Washington remains the Burmese people’s best hope for reliable support in their struggle for democracy... AS Barack Obama assumes the heavy duties of the US presidency, the oppressed Burmese people who have seen little political progress in their crisis-racked country are looking to him to see how his Burma policy differs from his predecessor’s. Although thousands of miles separate Burma and the US, the Burmese people still look to Washington—rather than the capitals of China, India, Russia or any of the EU or Asean member countries—to provide reliable political support for democratic change..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 February 2009


Title: DEMARCHE REQUEST: REPLACEMENT OF SRSG GAMBARI FOR BURMA MISSION
Date of publication: 07 October 2008
Description/subject: "...Department views the “good offices” mission of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative (SRSG) to Burma as an important vehicle for encouraging democratic progress in Burma. Consequently, Department has viewed with growing concern the lack of progress on core political steps that the UNSC called on Burma to take such as the immediate release of political prisoners and the opening of a meaningful, time-bound political dialogue with democratic and ethnic minority leaders, in particular, with Aung San Suu Kyi (ASSK), over the course of SRSG Gambari’s four missions to Rangoon. Indeed, it appears that Gambari’s access to regime officials and ability to secure results has only contracted over the course of these missions. His access to democratic leaders has been constrained by both the regime and more recently a loss of confidence in Gambari among leaders of the democracy movement. ¶3. (C) Gambari appears unrealistically upbeat, pursuing and reporting progress on peripheral matters (e.g., a possible economic forum, the possible placement of a UN staff member in Rangoon) that are a distraction from what the Security Council has articulated as critical goals and identified as Gambari’s mandate..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Secretary of State via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: Burma and the Bush White House
Date of publication: 26 August 2008
Description/subject: "When George W Bush and his wife Laura visited Thailand earlier this month, they took pains to draw attention to their continuing commitment to democracy in Burma. Publicly, their statements of support and gestures of solidarity were welcomed by Burma’s opposition movement. Privately, however, most Burmese now accept that the US is not able to remove the generals in Naypyidaw. Indeed, some activists have come to share the view that the US’s uncompromising approach to Burma since the ill-fated 1988 pro-democracy uprising may in fact have been counter-productive..."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Interpreter" - weblog of the Lowy Institute for International Policy
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 March 2009


Title: Burma and Transnational Crime
Date of publication: 21 August 2008
Description/subject: Summary: "Transnational organized crime groups in Burma (Myanmar) operate a multibillion dollar criminal industry that stretches across Southeast Asia. Trafficked drugs, humans, wildlife, gems, timber, and other contraband flow through Burma, supporting the illicit demands of the region and beyond. Widespread collusion between traffickers and Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), allows organized crime groups to function with impunity. Transnational crime in Burma bears upon U.S. interests as it threatens regional security in Southeast Asia and bolsters a regime that fosters a culture of corruption and disrespect for the rule of law and human rights. Congress has been active in U.S. policy toward Burma for a variety of reasons, including combating Burma’s transnational crime situation. At times, it has imposed sanctions on Burmese imports, suspended foreign assistance and loans, and ensured that U.S. funds remain out of the regime’s reach. Most recently, the 110th Congress passed P.L. 110-286, the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008 (signed by the President on July 29, 2008), which imposes further sanctions on SPDC officials and prohibits the indirect importation of Burmese gems, among other actions. On the same day, the President directed the U.S. Department of Treasury to impose financial sanctions against 10 Burmese companies, including companies involved in the gemmining industry, pursuant to Executive Order 13464 of April 30, 2008. This report analyzes the primary actors driving transnational crime in Burma, the forms of transnational crime occurring, and current U.S. policy in combating these crimes. This report will be updated as events warrant. For further analysis of U.S. policy to Burma, see CRS Report RL33479, Burma-U.S. Relations, by Larry A. Niksch."
Author/creator: Liana Sun Wyler
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Congressional Research Service
Format/size: pdf (473K)
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2010


Title: CONTINUING THE PURSUIT OF DEMOCRACY IN BURMA RANGOON
Date of publication: 14 July 2008
Description/subject: "...Embassy Rangoon pol/econ chief departs Post this week after ending a two-year tour that saw the largest political uprising in Burma in twenty years, the arrest and imprisonment of the pro-democracy opposition’s most talented leaders, and the worst natural disaster in Burma’s recorded history. We asked her to share her candid observations on the current political situation, and her recommendations on how best to advance our democratic goals..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: Bushs versteckte Burma-Agenda
Date of publication: 09 May 2008
Description/subject: Die USA präsentieren sich in der Burma-Katastrophe als unbürokratischer Krisenhelfer. Doch tatsächlich versucht die Regierung Bush, das Drama politisch auszuschlachten. Diese Strategie macht die Militärjunta so extrem misstrauisch - Hilfsorganisationen sind empört; USA-Burma Beziehungen; Amerikanische Hilfsprogramme; USA-Burma relations; US Aid Programme;
Author/creator: Marc Pitzke
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Spiegel Online
Format/size: Html (91 kb)
Date of entry/update: 09 May 2008


Title: Tom Lantos: A Champion of Human Rights (Obituary)
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: "US Congressman Tom Lantos of California, one of the best friends Burma ever had, died in February... Lantos worked tirelessly to strengthen US support for democracy and human rights in Burma. Most notably, he wrote the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, which imposed sanctions on Burma’s military regime, and the Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2007, which expanded targeted sanctions on the regime..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Burma-US Relations
Date of publication: 04 October 2007
Description/subject: Summary: "By the end of September 2007, the Burmese military regime had suppressed with force anti-regime protests that began in late August, escalated in mid- September, and were led by Buddhist monks and pro-democracy activists. This drew new protests from the United States over the regime’s abusive human rights record. According to human rights reports by the U.S. State Department and private organizations, Burma’s poor record worsened in 2004, 2005, and 2006. These reports have laid out a familiar pattern of government and military abuses of civilians. As in the past, U.S. diplomatic initiatives in September 2007 did not prevent the regime’s crackdown. China blocked a U.S.-European Union proposal to have the United Nations Security Council consider imposing sanctions on Burma. However, Burmese military leader Than Shwe proposed to a United Nations envoy that he would meet with opposition leader Aung Sann Suu Kyi if she would cease encouraging confrontation with the government and foreign economic sanctions. The SPDC appears unaffected by sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations. Western sanctions are uneven with U.S. sanctions being the heaviest. Burma has been able to expand exports of a variety of commodities, including growing earnings from natural gas production. China and India have signed deals with the SPDC for substantial purchases of natural gas. Burma also reportedly earns between $1 billion and $2 billion annually from exports of illegal drugs, heroin and methamphetamines. Most of these earnings go to drug traffickers connected to the Wa and Shan ethnic groups; but Burmese military officials have means to gain a substantial share of these earnings. Burma’s fellow members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have grown more critical of the SPDC, but they continue to oppose sanctions. Chinese diplomatic support of the SPDC and military and economic aid is very important: $2 billion in military aid since the early 1990s, $200 million annually in economic aid, substantial foreign investment including new investment in natural gas, and a huge influx of Chinese migrants into Burma, mainly traders. China’s role is a prime justification for India’s “constructive engagement” policy toward Burma. Burma has reestablished diplomatic relations with North Korea amidst reports of growing military cooperation between them. Since 1988, the United States has imposed sanctions against Burma, including congressional passage in 2003 of the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act (P.L. 108- 61) banning imports from Burma (renewed by Congress in 2006). The Bush Administration proposed that the U.N. Security Council consider the Burma situation and introduced a resolution in the Council. China and Russia vetoed the resolution in January 2007 and blocked a U.S. attempt to secure Security Council consideration of sanctions in September 2007. The Administration also faces limits on its flexibility in using sanctions in U.S. diplomacy. Contacts with the SPDC are extremely limited. The Administration has indicated that it would use sanctions to initiate a “road map” process with the SPDC, but Congress appears to be against a “road map” approach and stated in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act that the full range of U.S. sanctions should remain until the SPDC ends human rights abuses and makes fundamental political concessions to Aung Sann Suu Kyi."
Author/creator: Larry A. Niksch
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Congressional Research Service
Format/size: pdf (214K)
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2010


Title: Einige Aspekte der Situation in Birma/Myanmar
Date of publication: 01 October 2007
Description/subject: Die Zuspitzung der von buddhistischen Mönchen angeführten Proteste gegen das Militärregime in Birma bzw. Myanmar sowie das harte Vorgehen der Militärjunta haben Birma in den Blickpunkt der Weltöffentlichkeit gerückt. Seit Jahren wird von seiten vor allem der US-Regierung, aber auch Großbritanniens und teils auch der EU Propaganda gegen das Militärregime dort gemacht, wurden Drohungen ausgesprochen und Sanktionen verhängt. Und sie drängen auch jetzt zu verschärften Maßnahmen gegenüber Birma und setzen zunehmend China, Indien und die ASEAN-Staaten unter Druck, gegen die Militärjunta vorzugehen und noch mehr, sie drängen dazu, zu einem Machtwechsel in Birma beizutragen.USA-Burma Beziehungen, Aufstände 2007; USA-Burma relations; uprisings 2007
Author/creator: Uwe Mueller
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Neue Einheit
Format/size: Html (17 kb)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: US-Sanktionen verlängert
Date of publication: 25 July 2007
Description/subject: Der US-Senat hat die im Jahr 2003 gegen Burma (Myanmar) verschärften Sanktionen einstimmig verlängert. Die Strafmaßnahmen gegen die burmesische Militärdiktatur müssten aufrecht bleiben, bis die herrschende Junta politische Reformen zulasse. Zu den Sanktionen gehören ein Einfuhrverbot für alle Waren aus Burma und ein Einreiseverbot für Personen mit Verbindungen zur Junta.
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: APA/AFP; der Standard
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007


Title: US-Kritik an Russlands Vertrag mit Burma zu Nuklearanlagen-Bau
Date of publication: 25 May 2007
Description/subject: Die USA haben ein Abkommen zwischen Russland und Burma (Myanmar) über den Bau einer Nuklearanlage verurteilt.Die russische Atomenergiebehörde Rosatom hatte am Dienstag mitgeteilt, sich in dem von einer Militärjunta regierten Burma am Bau einer Nuklearanlage mit einem Zehn-Megawatt-Leichtwasserreaktor zu beteiligen. Eine entsprechende Vereinbarung mit dem Land sehe die Zusammenarbeit bei der Entwicklung und der Ausstattung des Forschungszentrums vor.
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Der Standard; APA
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007


Title: DAS JOHN DISCUSSES BURMA, SOUTHEAST ASIA WITH AFM CUI TIANKAI AND DG HU ZHENGYUE
Date of publication: 05 March 2007
Description/subject: Summary: "If the United States wants to make a difference on Burma, it should engage directly with General Than Shwe, Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told EAP DAS Eric John on March 5. In a separate meeting, MFA Director General for Asian Affairs Hu Zhengyue stressed that State Councilor Tang "really worked on" the Burmese during his recent visit to Burma, delivering the message that Burma needs to respond to the concerns of the international community. DAS John underlined that the United States is worried that Burma is headed at high speed in the wrong direction. If it adopts a constitution excluding certain parties from the political process, the United States and China could be locked into a cycle of confrontation over Burma at the United Nations. DAS John and AFM Cui also discussed the United States' and China's overlapping interests in Southeast Asia. With DG Hu, DAS John emphasized the importance of Indonesia and discussed instability in East Timor, positive progress in the Philippines and the situation in post-coup Thailand. EAP DAS Thomas Christensen joined DAS John at the meetings." End Summary.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Beijing, via Wikileaks
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2010


Title: The New Word from Washington - An Interview with Eric John, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Date of publication: May 2006
Description/subject: As US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Eric John is Washington’s point man on Southeast Asia, which includes Burma. On April 28, The Irrawaddy interviewed John at its office in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to catch up on the latest US policies on Burma, as the Burmese regime’s leading critic. The wide-ranging interview covered all aspects of these policies to bring about reform in Burma, US thoughts on Burma’s relations with its neighbors, and the situation regarding Burma and the UN Security Council.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: King Mindon’s Ruined Vision
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: His “Look West” Policies Are Now in Tatters... "...Today, Burma’s relations with the West, particularly the US, are rocky, and they’re unlikely to get better as long as the two sides pull in opposite directions. Since the 1988 democracy uprising, the US has downgraded its diplomatic relations with Burma, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has famously labeled Burma as an “outpost of tyranny,” along with North Korea, Cuba and Iran. In Rangoon, the military leaders maintain their critical stance vis-à-vis the West, bitterness and hatred simmering together in editorials published by the junta’s mouthpiece journals, while clearly harboring hopes for a better relationship with the West. While the generals pursue closer ties with neighbors such as Russia, India and China, they still don’t send their children to study in Moscow, Beijing or North Korea. Before the visa bans took hold, many children of the Rangoon elite were sent to study in Britain, Australia and the US..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: US and Burma Remain Outposts Apart
Date of publication: March 2005
Description/subject: "Although some sociologists have noted that Americans sometimes admire sincerity over competence or accuracy, the sincerity of both is not in question; rather it is whether each or a combined approach will accomplish their policy objective. US policy has long been devoted to “regime change” in Burma, albeit in a peaceful manner. That is, the policy has been to see the military return to barracks and have the opposition, which won the 1990 elections, assume power. Will this approach lead to change in Burma in the manner the US hopes? It’s highly unlikely..."
Author/creator: David I. Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2005


Title: Airing His Views - An Interview with Soe Thinn
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "Soe Thinn is the director of the Radio Free Asia Burmese Service in Washington, DC. He also worked with the Burmese Service of the Voice of America from 1992 until 1996 and with the Burmese Foreign Service from 1969 until October 1988. He spoke with The Irrawaddy about the challenges of bringing information to the Burmese public and RFA’s future plans..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 8
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: Burma/Myanmar: Reconciliation without Capitulation (a critique of the NBR report)
Date of publication: 31 March 2004
Description/subject: "The recent report by the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), Badgley, J.H. (2004) “Reconciling Burma/Myanmar: Essays on U.S. Relations with Burma”[3 March 2004], presented a shamelessly one-sided set of arguments for changing United States policy towards Myanmar. This paper tries to redress the balance, and to present both sides of the argument concerning what is, after all, a complex and heated issue. Two “core arguments” of the NBR report are identified and discussed, and in contrast the author develops two “core counter-arguments” for maintaining, with modifications, the existing U.S. policies with respect to Myanmar..."
Author/creator: Adam McCarty
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mekong Economics Ltd.
Format/size: html (83K),Word
Alternate URLs: http://www.crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/staff/acde/paul_burke/mccarty_burke_myanmar_burma_reconciliation...
http://www.mekongeconomics.com/details_team.php?id=4
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2010


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives... HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC... March 25, 2004... Testimony on Burma... David I. Steinberg [Distinguished Professor & Director, Asian Studies, Georgetown University]
Author/creator: David I. Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: pdf (446.74 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2010


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Statement by Chairman Elton Gallegly
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives... Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights... Statement of Chairman Elton Gallegly... Developments in Burma... March 25, 2004.
Author/creator: Elton Gallegly
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Testimony by Lorne W. Craner
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Testimony by Assistant Secretary Lorne W. Craner Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Bureau U.S. Department of State At a hearing entitled Developments in Burma By the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights March 25, 2004
Author/creator: Lorne W. Craner
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Dept. of State via Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/archives/108/cran032504.htm
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Testimony by Matthew P. Daley
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Matthew P. Daley, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights Washington, DC March 25, 2004
Author/creator: Matthew P. Daley
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Dept. of State via Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Testimony by Morten B. Pedersen
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives ... The record includes various interventions including a prepared statement by Morten Pedersen, Senior Analyst International Crisis Group (Search for Pedersen). before the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific and The Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Human Rights March 25, 2004... US State Department Briefing Washington, DC., 24 March 2004 ASSESSING INTERNATIONAL POLICIES ON BURMA* International Crisis Group
Author/creator: Morten B. Pedersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group via Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: pdf (447K)
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Testimony by Tom Malinowski
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Human Rights and U.S. Strategy in Burma... Testimony by Tom Malinowski, Washington Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch.
Author/creator: Tom Malinowski
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch via Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on Burma, 25 March 2004: Testimony by Veronika Martin
Date of publication: 25 March 2004
Description/subject: Testimony by Veronika A. Martin Policy Analyst, U.S. Committee for Refugees... Developments in Burma... Before the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific and The Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Human Rights... March 25, 2004... Myanmarese Refugees in Thailand and The Human Rights Situation in Eastern Myanmar.
Author/creator: Veronika A. Martin
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees via Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Human Rights and U.S. Strategy in Burma
Date of publication: 24 March 2004
Description/subject: Human Rights and U.S. Strategy in Burma Testimony by Tom Malinowski, Washington Advocacy Director Mr. Chairman, thank you for your invitation to testify on the human rights situation in Burma and on U.S. policy towards that country.
Author/creator: Tom Malinowski
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2004


Title: Reconciling Burma/Myanmar: Essays on U.S. Relations with Burma
Date of publication: 03 March 2004
Description/subject: Free access not available anymore! The document needs to be purchased. Foreword: "An intellectual “tectonic shift” is underway, making a precarious policy even harder to justify. This rather unusual issue of the NBR Analysis does not stem from an NBR-sponsored project or study. Instead, it emerged as an initiative from an extraordinary assemblage of Burma scholars, all of whom regard last year’s announcement of a “road map” for constitutional change, the ongoing progress toward cease-fires with ethnic insurgents, and the worsening impact of sanctions on the general populace, as an opportunity to re-examine U.S. relations with Burma. Recognizing that the current situation may be conducive to taking a fresh perspective, and noting the significance of so many top Burma specialists reaching similar conclusions and working together, we decided to publish their essays. The scholars in this volume represent a range of perspectives. What is especially notable is that they collaborated in this enterprise and concur that the U.S. policy of sanctions is not achieving its worthy objective—progress toward constitutional change and democratization in Burma. Moreover, as some of these authors argue, viewing U.S.-Burma relations solely through this lens, important as it is, may be harming other U.S. strategic interests in Southeast Asia, both in terms of the ongoing war against terrorism and long-term objectives regarding the United States’ role as a regional security guarantor. The desperate humanitarian situation in the country, as detailed in many of these essays, and concerns about possible WMD-related activities only underscore the importance of looking at this issue again. U.S. policymakers in particular ought to consider whether it is now appropriate to take a more realistic, engaged approach, while easing restrictions on humanitarian assistance, programs to build civil society, and the forces of globalization that are needed for the Burmese peoples’ socio-economic progress and solid transition to civilian government and democracy..." Richard J. Ellings, President, The National Bureau of Asian Research... "Strategic Interests in Myanmar" - John H. Badgley; "Myanmar’s Political Future: Is Waiting for the Perfect the Enemy of Doing the Possible?" - Robert H. Taylor; "Burma/Myanmar: A Guide for the Perplexed?" - David I. Steinberg; "King Solomon’s Judgment" - Helen James; "The Role of Minorities in the Transitional Process" - Seng Raw; "Will Western Sanctions Bring Down the House?" - Kyaw Yin Hlaing; "The Crisis in Burma/Myanmar: Foreign Aid as a Tool for Democratization" - Morten B. Pedersen;
Author/creator: John H. Badgley (Ed.); Robert H. Taylor, David I. Steinberg, Helen James, Seng Raw, Kyaw Yin Hlaing, Morten B. Pedersen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "NBR Analysis" Vol.15, No. 1, March 2004 (The National Bureau of Asia Research)
Format/size: pdf (261K)
Date of entry/update: 29 February 2004


Title: Securing Democracy
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "By tolerating strong-arm tactics elsewhere, Washington is sending Rangoon a mixed message... When US President George W Bush signed the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 into law in late July, he declared that the US was enacting sanctions on the ruling junta to provide "strong incentives for democratic change and human rights in Burma." Bush did not elaborate on the litany of anti-democratic maneuvers and human rights abuses perpetrated by the Burmese military government, but they are well known. Retaining power after a military coup, holding opposition figures and others in detention without trial and violently suppressing ethnic insurgents are among the acts he could have listed. Today, the US sends Rangoon a mixed message by tolerating the same actions by its Asian allies in the war on terror. It seems that the Americans want other countries to be more like Burma, but Burma less like itself..."
Author/creator: Kevin R. Manning
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 11, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 January 2004


Title: Conditions in Burma and U.S. Policy Toward Burma for the Period March 28, 2003 - September 27, 2003
Date of publication: 27 October 2003
Description/subject: "Efforts to foster peaceful democratic change in Burma, already encumbered by an increasingly confrontational military regime, were dealt a severe blow on May 30 when government-affiliated thugs carried out a premeditated ambush on democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her convoy of National League for Democracy (NLD) party members and supporters. Since the May 30 attack, Burma’s military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has held Aung San Suu Kyi and all members of the NLD’s Central Executive Committee in indefinite "protective custody," arrested dozens of NLD members, and shuttered the party’s headquarters and all of its regional offices. The violent attack and its aftermath dominate the political scene in Burma. Despite significant pressure from the United States, the European Union, Japan, and, to a lesser degree, ASEAN, the Burmese junta has not taken any constructive steps to resolve the crisis or to begin a real dialogue with the NLD and other political parties, including ethnic minority groups, on substantive political issues. In July, President Bush signed the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 and the U.S. imposed significant additional economic sanctions on Burma. These new measures, which complement a ban on new investment in Burma and other existing sanctions, prohibit the import of any Burmese product into the United States, ban the provision of financial services to Burma, and freeze the assets of designated Burmese institutions, including the State Peace and Development Council. In addition, in June, the Department of State expanded the scope of an existing visa ban that targets Burmese officials and others who inhibit a transition to democracy to include all officials of the government-affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Association and the managers of state-owned enterprises and their immediate family members. On September 9, President Bush imposed further trafficking in persons-related sanctions on Burma, barring U.S. funding for Burmese government officials or employees in educational and cultural exchange programs. Absent significant progress toward a political transition, the U.S. will coordinate with the European Union and others to maintain pressure on the Burmese junta to make such progress. The European Union has expanded the scope of its asset freeze and visa restrictions; Canada has also imposed visa restrictions. Japan has frozen new development assistance to the junta. Should the SPDC fail to release a significant number of political prisoners or improve its human rights record, and should it continue to inhibit a meaningful political dialogue with the democratic opposition, the U.S. will consider additional measures in conjunction with the international community..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Dept. of State: Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 October 2003


Title: Presidential Executive Order implementing the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003,
Date of publication: 29 July 2003
Description/subject: "...The United States has begun to implement the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, which immediately prohibits financial transactions with entities of the ruling military junta in Burma and will bar the importation of Burmese products into the United States after 30 days, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC issued a bulletin July 29 that includes the text of President Bush's July 28 Executive Order regarding the blockage of the Burmese junta's property, the prohibition of financial transactions with entities of the Rangoon regime, and the ban on Burmese imports into the United States. According to President Bush's executive order, such steps are necessary due to the military junta's "continued repression of the democratic opposition in Burma" and the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13047 of May 20, 1997. Following is the text of the OFAC bulletin:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Office of Foreign Assets Control via US Dept of State
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 August 2003


Title: Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act -- Text and associated links
Date of publication: 28 July 2003
Description/subject: This legislation was signed into law by the US President on 28 July 2003.
Language: English
Source/publisher: U S Government via Trillium Asset Management
Format/size: pdf (42 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_bills&docid=f:h2330rh.txt.pdf
http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/legal/statutes/bfda_2003.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2010


Title: Burma: Hopes for Democracy and Human Rights Situation Squashed as Democratic Movement Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, Celebrates her 58th Birthday Under Arrest (Statement by Human Rights Watch to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus)
Date of publication: 19 June 2003
Author/creator: Tom Malinowski
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2003


Title: Burma: A Time For Change
Date of publication: 18 June 2003
Description/subject: "Council-sponsored Task Force to U.S. Government: Go to the United Nations, Condemn Burmese Military Crackdown on Democratic Opposition and Impose Sanctions...WASHINGTON, June 18 - The United States must urge the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on Burma to condemn the military government's recent crackdown on the democratic opposition there, concludes the newly released Council-sponsored Independent Task Force, "Burma: A Time For Change". In that session, the Security Council should impose targeted sanctions on Burma, including denying visas to leaders of the military regime, freezing their assets, banning new investments and the import of Burmese goods. The Task Force also strongly recommends that the United States adopt an immediate import ban on goods produced in Burma-even if there is no UN Security Council resolution to that effect. At the same time, the United States should increase humanitarian assistance to Burma to help mitigate that country's massive refugee crisis and public health emergencies, particularly the HIV/AIDS epidemic... Among the Task Force's recommendations, the United States should: * Redouble its efforts with the governments of China, Japan and the ASEAN countries--particularly Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia--to press the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to work with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and ethnic nationalities toward political transition in Burma. * Strongly discourage Japan from forgiving outstanding debt from bilateral grants and loans until the SPDC makes substantial progress on human rights and engages in substantive political dialogue with the democratic opposition. * Urge Asian investors to press the SPDC to begin implementing the economic measures recommended by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank as one of the prerequisites for further investment. * Encourage China to press the Burmese government to reform its economy and move towards democratic governance to promote stability in the region. * Tie increased counter-narcotics cooperation to significant steps by the Burmese government to curb methamphetamine production, to arrest leading traffickers, and to stop channeling drug money into the illicit economy. * Provide increased humanitarian assistance for refugees along both sides of the Thai-Burma border, and on Burma's borders with India, Bangladesh, and China. * In view of Burma's massive public health crisis, the U.S. should increase humanitarian aid, provided that the funds are given to international nongovernmental organizations through a process that requires transparency, accountability and consultation with the NLD and other groups representative of a multi-ethnic Burma..."
Author/creator: Mathea Falco (Task Force Chair)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Council on Foreign Relations
Format/size: pdf (257K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.cfr.org/publication.php?id=6054
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2003


Title: The US-Led Burma Charge
Date of publication: June 2003
Description/subject: "After the violent events of May 30, the US and regional allies need a new approach to Burma... With the apparent military success of the US-led invasion of Iraq, international politics has fundamentally changed. The US has firmly established its global hegemony. It has no rival. Like it or not, the US now has a strong message it can deliver to any state in the world: "You’re next." No pressing crisis in the world today can be effectively resolved without the active involvement of the US, unless the concerned parties have both the will and capacity to settle their differences. Burma is one case where such will is lacking..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 11, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2003


Title: DCI, Burma and D.C.
Date of publication: 28 February 2003
Description/subject: "The Burmese military regime failed last year to improve its ties with the United States and get "certified" for its anti-narcotics programs, but it wasn't for lack of a solid effort by its lobbyists, DCI Associates...."
Author/creator: Al Kamen (Tr. Tadayuki Kubo)
Language: Japanese, English
Source/publisher: Washington Post
Format/size: html (Japanese), pdf (English)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmainfo.org/op_ed/dci-associates.pdf (English)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: An Opportunity in Burma (Editorial)
Date of publication: 27 December 2002
Description/subject: A call for the US adminstration to help the casue of Burmese democracy. Note: Translator added additional information for Japanese readers.
Author/creator: (Japanese translation by Yuki Akimoto)
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: Washington Post via Burma Info
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: US Government, Report to the Congress Regarding Conditions in Burma and U.S. Policy Toward Burma.
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: (Memorandum of April 12, 2001.)
Language: English
Source/publisher: The White House
Format/size: pdf (31.39 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/other_03.html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: US Government, Report to the Congress Regarding Conditions in Burma and U.S. Policy Toward Burma.
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: (Memorandum of April 12, 2001.)
Language: English
Source/publisher: The White House
Format/size: pdf (31.39 K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/other_03.html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: Burma Sanctions Regulations
Date of publication: 23 February 1998
Description/subject: Search for Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Format/size: pdf (72.97 K)
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


Title: Foreign Policy in Focus (BURMA)
Date of publication: 01 August 1997
Description/subject: * The SLORC military junta is a world-class human rights abuser condemned by the UN every year since 1989. * Foreign investors continue to play a critical role in providing financial backing for SLORC. * SLORC continues to refuse to recognize the results of the 1990 elections, overwhelmingly won by Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Author/creator: Philip S. Robertson Jr.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2010