- McConnell/Feinstein bill calls for renewed sanctions against Burmese junta -
Jun 12 2008
Washington D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Thursday called on their colleagues to quickly approve their legislation to renew sanctions against the Burmese junta, “The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act.”
The McConnell/Feinstein bill calls for the renewal of sanctions against the Burmese regime, which include an import ban on Burmese goods entering the U.S. and visa restrictions on officials from the dictatorial regime – the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).
“Last month, the whole world got a close look at the SPDC’s contempt for human life when a devastating cyclone hit Burma. No one can say with certainty the full toll of death and destruction from the storm—but we do know the junta compounded matters through its inaction and utter disregard for the Burmese people,” Sen. McConnell said. “These sanctions will make clear to the SPDC that the United States continues to stand squarely with the long-suffering people of Burma and against the morally bankrupt junta.
“The Burmese military junta has done nothing over the past year to warrant the lifting of these sanctions – and the devastating cyclone only underscored this point. The regime’s refusal to allow in international aid organizations to assess the storm’s destruction and to respond to the suffering of its own people is inhumane,” Senator Feinstein said. “The United States Senate must continue to renew these sanctions – until the SPDC engages in real national reconciliation, until it releases all political prisoners, and until Aung San Suu Kyi and all of the people of Burma can live in a free and democratic society.”
The McConnell/Feinstein bill will in no way hinder or block America’s continuing efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the people in Burma in the wake of the cyclone. The legislation imposes sanctions on trade, not foreign aid.