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CNN: U.S. banning new investment in

Subject: CNN: U.S. banning new investment in Burma 04/22/97

                     U.S. banning new investment
                     in Burma

                     Move aimed at human rights abuses

                     April 22, 1997
                     Web posted at: 11:58 a.m. EDT (1558 GMT)

                     WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has
                     decided to ban new U.S. investment in Burma, White
                     officials said, invoking a law that seeks to punish
Burma's military
                     government for human rights abuses.

                     Senior administration officials say the shift in
policy would be
                     announced at the State Department Tuesday.

                                         The sanctions come under the terms
                                         the Cohen-Feinstein law signed by
                                         president in 1996. The bill,
                                         by Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
                                         and then-Sen. (now Defense
                                         William Cohen, R-Maine, permits
                                         administration to impose stiff
measures if
                                         Burma continues to suppress the
                                         democratic opposition.

                     One of Burma's military leaders said on Tuesday his
                     would not be swayed by the U.S. economic sanctions and
                     Western allegations of human rights abuses.

                     "It's not a problem for us,"
                     Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt told
                     international journalists on a
                     government trip to the Golden
                     Triangle area in eastern Shan state.

                     Elsewhere, some diplomats
                     questioned whether Rangoon might
                     retaliate against the democracy

                     Burma has been under intense
                     pressure for several years over the military regime's
human rights
                     practices since it failed to allow the democratically
                     government of the opposition National League for
Democracy to
                     take power after a 1990 vote.

                     The U.S. law warns the generals who rule Burma not to
arrest or
                     harm Aung Sang Suu Kyi, founder of the National League
                     Democracy. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was under
                     arrest for six years.

                                                      Suu Kyi has lobbied
                                                      the international
                                                      community, and
                                                      Washington, for years
                                                      to use economic
                                                      measures against the

                                                      Clinton's decision
                                                      followed a heated
                                                      debate in Washington.
                                                      Even though he
                     sponsored the original bill, Cohen was one of several
members of
                     the president's Cabinet who opposed imposing sanctions
                     arguing that they would have little effect on Burma's

                     But supporters of the sanctions -- which are not
retroactive and
                     will allow existing contracts to stand -- say
diplomatic pressure is
                     not working.

                     Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a speech
 last week
                     that U.S. patience with the Burmese government had run

                     The decision is likely to draw fire from some in both
the United
                     States and abroad, and may cause a rift with some of
                     Washington's allies in Southeast Asia.

                     In contrast to the U.S. policy, the
                     Association of Southeast Asian Nations
                     (ASEAN) has refused to isolate Burma.
                     ASEAN members say maintaining
                     economic and diplomatic engagement is
                     more effective. Malaysia, in fact, is
                     expected to push for Burma's full
                     membership at ASEAN's 30th
                     anniversary meeting in July.

                     But the European Union dropped preferential trade
benefits last
                     month for Burma's industrial and agricultural exports
because of
                     the use of forced labor. EU nations have already
stopped military
                     cooperation and refused to begin talks on new trade

                     Roger Beach, president of the oil and gas company
Unocal Corp.,
                     the largest U.S. investor in Burma, said Tuesday the
                     were counterproductive and did more damage to the
                     people than to the military regime.

                     "Sanctions .. hurt people," he told the American
Chamber of
                     Commerce. "And they cut off American companies from
places in
                     the world where be should be involved."

                     Reuters contributed to this report.

                     Related stories:

                          Suu Kyi ridicules Burma's rallies - May 29, 1996
                          Burmese opposition proposals sting government -
May 28,
                          Suu Kyi addresses 5,000 in Burma - May 25, 1996

                     Related sites:

                     Note: Pages will open in a new browser window

                          Aung San Suu Kyi Winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize
                          Peace - by the Nobel Prize Internet Archive
                          Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - from the Free Burma
                          Burma (CIA World Fact Book)
                          The Nobel Foundation
                          Free Burma Home

                     CNN Plus: Newsmaker Profiles:

                          Aung San Suu Kyi - Burmese Opposition Leader

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