Thursday, October 25, 2007

Get Tough on Rangoon : It's time to turn the tables on Burma's thugs.

BY COLIN L. POWELL Thursday, June 12, 2003

There are a number of measures that should now be taken, many of them in the proposed legislation. It's time to freeze the financial assets of the SPDC. It's time to ban remittances to Burma so that the SPDC cannot benefit from the foreign exchange. With legislation, we can, and should, place restrictions on travel-related transactions that benefit the SPDC and its supporters. We also should further limit commerce with Burma which enriches the junta's generals. Of course, we would need to ensure consistency with our World Trade Organization and other international obligations. Any legislation will need to be carefully crafted to take into account our WTO obligations and the president's need for waiver authority, but we should act now.

By attacking Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters, the Burmese junta has finally and definitively rejected the efforts of the outside world to bring Burma back into the international community. Indeed, their refusal of the work of Ambassador Razali and of the rights of Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters could not be clearer. Our response must be equally clear if the thugs who now rule Burma are to understand that their failure to restore democracy will only bring more and more pressure against them and their supporters.
Mr. Powell is the secretary of state.

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