Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sanctions a Viable Option that Hasn't Been Tested


China, India, and Japan have all argued against economic sanctions for Burma, saying that it would further destabilize the authoritarian state. However, for years Aung San Suu Kyi supported economic sanctions against the military regime. Her reasoning is that, despite the perception that the brunt of sanctions would be borne by rank-in-file Burmese, the lion's share of Burma's international trade benefits the junta and its supporters, and does very little to actually improve the quality of life for Burmese citizens. Rather, foreign investment has been linked with environmental destructive projects in which the extraction of resources has been linked to forced labor and forced relocation in Burma, amongst many other human rights abuses.

According to an article by AP released today, Philip S Robertson Jr, a human rights activist based in Bangkok, supports this view:
"Basically, the only country that's really taken any sort of significant sanctions against the Burma regime so far has been the United States," said "There are people saying, `Oh, sanctions haven't worked.' I would say that sanctions haven't really been tried."
Robertson added that Burmese citizens may be willing to put up with additional financial burdens if it helps quicken the junta's demise. The full article HERE

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