President Obama Eases Sanctions on Myanmar

President Obama Eases Sanctions on Myanmar 

On 02 December 2016, President Obama issued Presidential Determination No. 2017-04 which eases U.S. sanctions against Myanmar (Burma). President Obama declared that the “[Burmese] government had made substantial progress in improving human rights.” The uplifted sanctions are limited to U.S. Government aid to the government of Myanmar. Sanctions adopted by the U.S. Congress, including an arms embargo and military cooperation, remain in place.

The Popa Taungkalat (Taung Kalat) Shrine is a Buddhist monastery sitting on the peak of mt. Popa (Myanmar). Photo by Brian Snelson.

In September 2016, President Obama promised to ease sanctions against Myanmar during a visit of the country’s de facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Despite the significant progress towards democracy, the Presidential Determination is soured by reports concerning the ongoing brutal counter-insurgency against the Rohingya minority – see previous blog.

Given Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence on the issue, her international image as an exemplar champion of democracy has taken a blow. This would explain the low key announcement. 


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