Sunday, Apr 19, 2015Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Obama extends some sanctions against Myanmar despite reforms

Published on May 16, 2014 4:30 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama extended some economic sanctions against Myanmar for another year on Thursday, telling Congress the step is needed despite some progress on reforms made by the country formerly known as Burma.

Obama notified leaders of Congress in a letter that he was renewing for another year the National Emergencies Act, which prohibits US businesses and individuals from investing in Myanmar or doing business with Myanmar figures involved in repression of the democracy movement since the mid-1990s.

Obama, who visited Myanmar in 2012, said the Myanmar government had made much advances in critical areas such as the release of more than 1,100 political prisoners, progress toward a nationwide ceasefire, the legalisation of unions and taking steps to improve the country's labor standards.

However, he said, "Despite great strides that Burma has made in its reform effort, the situation in the country continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!