[As released by the U.S. Treasury Department]
TREASURY DEPARTMENT LIFTS SANCTIONS AGAINST BURMA’S PRESIDENT AND LOWER HOUSE SPEAKER
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Treasury today lifted sanctions against Burmese President Thein Sein and Lower House of Parliament Speaker Thura Shwe Mann by removing them from the list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN). This action allows them access to once-blocked property and assets and allows transactions involving U.S. persons or in the United States. Today’s removal also acknowledges Thein Sein and Thura Shwe Mann’s efforts on behalf of reform and supports U.S. national security and foreign policy goals.
“Thein Sein and Thura Shwe Mann have taken concrete steps to promote political reforms and human rights, and to move Burma away from repression and dictatorship toward democracy and freedom, warranting today’s delisting action,” said Under Secretary David S. Cohen.
Since Thein Sein took office as President of Burma in 2011, he has supported far-reaching reforms in the country. Thein Sein has maintained a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the opposition party, granted amnesty to hundreds of political prisoners, and overseen elections in which Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD members won seats in Parliament.
Thura Shwe Mann has supported Thein Sein’s reforms and, under his leadership, the Burmese Parliament has supported democratization reforms, including passing bills granting the release of political prisoners, and a law, in consultation with the International Labor Organization, to allow for organized labor and formation of unions.
United States sanctions against certain senior government officials responsible for repressive policies in Burma have been imposed in part to signal our disapproval and to motivate such officials to abandon these policies and support political reform and human rights.
Going forward, additional listings or delistings will be pursued as appropriate to meet changing conditions in Burma. The United States Government will continue to support those promoting reform in Burma, and remains committed to preventing those who undermine or obstruct the political reform process by seeking to perpetuate violence, oppression, and corrupt practices from participating in our countries’ growing diplomatic and economic ties.