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Albright hints at sanctions against

Subject:       Albright hints at sanctions against Burma

Albright hints at sanctions against Burma
Annapolis (Maryland), April 16:
US secretary of state Medallion Albright on Tuesday
stepped up pressure on the Burmese leadership, saying
it was "on notice"" and could face US investment
sanctions. Noting Rangoon's crackdown on Political
expression and jailing of demonstrators. "Burmese
leaders are on notice that, unless the clouds of
repression are lifted, they will face investment
sanctions under US law, "Ms Albright said in a speech
at the US Naval Academy here. A US law passed last year
allows President Bill Clinton to ban new US investment
in Burma if the country's nine-year-old military
government arrests, harms, or exiles Opposition leader
Aung San Suu Kyi or suppresses her followers on a large
scale. "Our policy is to oppose repression and support
a dialogue between the government and the democratic
Opposition," Ms Albright said. "US officials, myself
included, have stressed to Burma's military the
opportunity presented by a democratic opening," she
added, characterising recent actions by the regime as
having a "corrosive effect on the Burmese government's
standing at home and abroad." State department
spokesman Nicholas Burns called Ms Albright's statement
"a stiffening of the US position" but noted that "no
decision has been made"" on sanctions. "This is the
strongest public statement by the Clinton
administration that without improvement there are going
to be sanctions," he told reporters. In its annual
human rights report issued January 30, the state
department said Bruma's military dictatorship had
stepped up its "severe repression" of human rights in
1996. (AFP)_