U.S. eases Myanmar sanctions to boost NGO projects

April 18, 2012

Chicago Tribune on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday relaxed sanctions on Myanmar to permit financial transactions to support certain humanitarian and development projects in the country as it moves ahead with democratic reforms after decades of military rule.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a general license authorizing financial transactions for a range of not-for-profit projects and programs in areas such as good governance, health, education and sport.

“We are taking this step today to support a broader range of not-for-profit activity in Burma by private U.S. organizations and individuals to promote increased cooperation between the Burmese and the American people,” a senior Treasury Department official said.

The Obama administration announced this month that it planned to gradually ease certain sanctions on Myanmar, steps that could eventually see bans lifted on U.S. companies investing in or offering financial services to the resource-rich Southeast Asian nation.

The move on sanctions follows a dramatic series of reforms in Myanmar, where Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in a parliamentary by-election this month that yielded a landslide victory for her party.

“These (steps) were action for action in response to what we viewed as very positive parliamentary elections,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing, adding that additional measures would be forthcoming.

The Treasury’s announcement marked the first of a planned series of modest steps to unravel the complex web of U.S. sanctions that have contributed to the country’s isolation and driven it closer to its powerful neighbor, China.

The United States has said it will name an ambassador to Myanmar after an absence of two decades, set up an office of the U.S. Agency for International Development there and support a regular U.N. Development Program operation in the country.

Future steps to ease sanctions could eventually open the door to U.S. investment in Myanmar’s agriculture, tourism, telecommunications and banking sectors, U.S. officials say.

But U.S. officials say they want to see clear evidence of further reforms, including the release of all political prisoners, concrete steps toward national reconciliation, especially with ethnic groups that say they have long been oppressed by the central government, and an end to any military ties to North Korea.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement marking Myanmar’s New Year Water Festival on Tuesday, said the last year had seen the country embark “on a historic new path toward democracy and economic development.”

“We look forward to deepening cooperation on a wide range of issues that promote democratization and national reconciliation, from increasing access to education to expanding health care and encouraging a vibrant civil society,” she said.

Pro-democracy advocates have urged the United States to move cautiously, saying sanctions are an important tool to maintain pressure on Myanmar’s government to follow through on pledges of greater democratic openness.

“We need to carefully utilize the sanctions we have by gradually easing them. Major sanctions … should be the last ones to touch,” said Aung Din, president of the U.S. Campaign for Burma.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


U.S. imposes sanctions on Alleged Indonesia militants

February 24, 2012

Chicago Tribune on February 23, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on Thursday against three men it said were members of Jema’ah Ansharut Tauhid, or JAT, an Indonesia-based militant organization.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said the sanctions against Mochammad Achwan, Son Hadi bin Muhadjir and Abdul Rosyid Ridho Ba’asyir were intended to cut off their access to the international finance system by prohibiting U.S. transactions with them.

It said in a statement the move coincided with the State Department designating JAT as a terrorist organization.

JAT is headed by Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who is also the co-founder of Jemaah Islamiya, or JI, a Southeast Asia-based militant group with links to al Qaeda. All three men have ties to JI, the Treasury said.

“The OFAC is taking another step to ensure that terrorists are cut off from the international financial system and find it ever more difficult to carry out their acts of violence, no matter where they are based,” Treasury’s OFAC director, Adam Szubin, said in a statement.

Al Qaeda is believed to have supported some JI attacks, including the Bali bombings in 2002 that killed more than 200 people.

According to the Treasury, Achwan provided funding for an Aceh militant training camp in 2010. The militants, using the name “Al Qaeda in Aceh,” plotted to kill U.S. aid workers and Western tourists.

The Treasury said Son Hadi supplied explosives used in JI’s 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, which killed nine people and wounded 182.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.