print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > October 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 19, 2007

Fact Sheet: President Bush Announces Added Sanctions Against Leaders of Burma's Regime
Additional Sanctions Will Increase Pressure For Democratic Change In Burma

     Fact sheet President Bush Discusses Sanctions on Burma

Today, President Bush announced the United States has imposed additional sanctions on the leaders of Burma's brutal military regime. In recent weeks, ordinary men and women have taken to the streets in Burma in peaceful marches to demand their freedom and call for democratic change. Despite the world's just demands to stop their persecution, Burma's military junta has responded viciously, beating and killing monks and peaceful protestors and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protestors. In addition, Burma's dictator, Than Shwe, continues to hold captive Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's largest democratic party, the National League of Democracy.

In Light Of The Ongoing Atrocities Committed By Burma's Junta Leaders And Their Associates, The United States Has Today Imposed Additional Sanctions On The Regime's Leaders

1. The Treasury Department has designated 11 more leaders of the Burmese junta for sanctions under existing authorities. Sanctions against Burma were first imposed in 1997 with the issuance of Executive Order 13047. These sanctions were augmented in 2003, when President Bush signed the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act and issued Executive Order 13310 to freeze the assets of senior Burmese officials.

  • Today's announcement adds to the 14 top leaders of Than Shwe's regime whom the Treasury Department designated for sanctions under these same authorities last month. The President announced these tightened sanctions, including sanctions against Than Shwe and his deputy, Vice Senior General Maung Aye, in his September 25 address to the UN General Assembly. He also announced the U.S. would impose an expanded visa ban on those responsible for the most egregious human rights violations, and the State Department added 260 names of Burmese officials and their family members to the visa ban list.

2. The President has issued a new Executive Order that expands the Treasury Department's existing authority and designates an additional 12 individuals and entities for sanctions. This Order expands the Treasury Department's existing authority to designate individuals for sanctions to include: Individuals responsible for human rights abuses and public corruption; and individuals and entities who provide material or financial support to designated individuals or to the government of Burma.

3. The President has instructed the Commerce Department to tighten its export control regulations for Burma. This will impact the export of "dual-use" goods and high performance computers to Burma.

We Will Continue To Review Our Policies And Consider Additional Measures If Burma's Leaders Do Not End The Brutal Repression Of Their Own People

Burmese authorities should provide the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations access to political prisoners. They should also allow Aung San Suu Kyi and other detained leaders to communicate with one another and permit UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari to enter the country immediately.

Ultimately, reconciliation requires that Burmese authorities release all political prisoners without condition and begin negotiations with the democratic opposition under the auspices of the United Nations.

The People Of Burma Are Showing Great Courage In The Face Of Immense Repression - And We Must Not Turn A Deaf Ear To Their Cries For Our Help

The President applauds the efforts of the European Union and nations like Australia that have announced targeted sanctions on the Burmese regime. He commends nations such as Japan that have curtailed their assistance to Burma in response to the atrocities - and those in ASEAN such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia who have spoken out.

The President asks other countries to review their own laws and policies, especially Burma's closest neighbors, including China, India, and others in the region.

Mrs. Bush will also remain active in supporting the Burmese people's demands for reconciliation and basic human rights such as freedom of speech, worship, and assembly. This month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Mrs. Bush to thank her for her "unwavering support" for the people of Burma.

# # #