US formally terminates Myanmar sanctions programme against former junta leaders and associates

YANGON (MYANMAR ELEVEN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The US Treasury Department has formally announced the termination of its Myanmar sanctions programme and removed former generals and their associates from its blocked lists.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order terminating the national emergency, revoking the Myanmar Sanctions Executive Orders and waiving other statutory blocking and financial sanctions.

The financial sanctions were imposed with the Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 and the Jade Act of 2008. All individuals and entities blocked pursuant to the Burmese Sanctions Regulations have been removed from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

The ban on exports of Myanmar's jade and rubies, and any jewellery containing them, has been revoked. Among those who are removed from the blocked lists are former military chief Than Shwe and his deputy Maung Aye, and the current, military-appointed Vice President Myint Swe.

In addition, the US removed multiple businessmen and companies from the blocked list.

The termination of the sanctions does not impact individuals or entities blocked under the Office of the Foreign Assets Control, such as counter-narcotics sanctions. They remained on the watchlist, and their property and assets would still be blocked, the US Treasury Department said.

Washington said the move was in recognition of Myanmar's moves towards democratisation.