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                         Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                              April 22, 1997

                    STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

                    Investment Sanctions in Burma

     Today I am announcing my decision to impose a ban on new 
U.S. investment in Burma.  

     I have taken this step in response to a constant and 
continuing pattern of severe repression by the State Law and 
Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in Burma.  During the past 
seven months, the SLORC has arrested and detained large numbers 
of students and opposition supporters, sentenced dozens to 
long-term imprisonment, and prevented the expression of political 
views by the democratic opposition, including Aung San Suu Kyi 
and the National League for Democracy (NLD).

     I have therefore imposed sanctions under the terms of the 
"Cohen-Feinstein" Amendment, a bipartisan measure that I fully 
support.  As contained in the Burma policy provision of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 
104-208), this amendment calls for investment sanctions if the 
Government of Burma has physically harmed, rearrested for 
political acts, or exiled Aung San Suu Kyi, or has committed 
large-scale repression of or violence against the democratic 
opposition.  It is my judgment that recent actions by the regime 
in Rangoon constitute such repression.

     Beyond its pattern of repressive human rights practices, the 
Burmese authorities also have committed serious abuses in their 
recent military campaign against Burma's Karen minority, forcibly 
conscripting civilians and compelling thousands to flee into 
Thailand.  The SLORC regime has overturned the Burmese people?s 
democratically elected leadership.  Under this brutal military 
regime, Burma remains the world's leading producer of opium and 
heroin, and tolerates drug trafficking and traffickers in 
defiance the views of the international community.  The regime 
has shown little political will to stop the narcotics exports 
from Burma and prevent illicit drug money from enriching those 
who would flaunt international rules and profit by destroying the 
lives of millions.
     The United States and other members of the international 
community have firmly and repeatedly taken steps to encourage 
democratization and human rights in Burma.  Through our action 
today, we seek to keep faith with the people of Burma, who made 
clear their support for human rights and democracy in 1990 
elections which the regime chose to disregard.  We join with many 
others in the international community calling for reform in 
Burma, and we emphasize that the U.S.-Burma relationship will 
improve only as there is progress on democratization and respect 
for human rights.

     In particular, we once again urge the authorities in Burma 
to lift restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi and the political 
opposition, respect the rights of free expression, assembly and 
association, and undertake a dialogue on Burma's political future 
that includes leaders of the NLD and the ethnic minorities.