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Myanmar's Lower House urges to work for prompt lifting of sanctions

(Xinhua)

11:59, July 14, 2012

YANGON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's parliamentary House of Representatives (Lower House) agreed a proposal urging to work for prompt lifting of sanctions on the country amid different views discussed by the parliamentarians, according to Saturday's official media.

The proposal, put forward by a Shan ethnic parliamentarian Daw Nan Wah Nu to the ongoing 4th session of the Lower House in Nay Pyi Taw, said "sanctions imposed on Myanmar pose obstacles to the practice of modern, developed, discipline-flourishing democracy and whoever can get those sanctions lifted as quickly as possible anyhow is urged to work with coordination with the Hluttaw ( parliament)."

Some of the five other parliamentarians elected from different constituencies discussed in favor of the proposal, while others discussed that "it is required to discuss how the union government could guarantee human rights of the citizens and rule of law if the sanctions were lifted," saying that "the proposal should not be supported with serious consideration from various dimensions," the New Light of Myanmar reported.

Washington imposed sanctions on Myanmar in May 1997 and expanded them over years, under which U.S. investment and all imports from Myanmar have been banned, assets of certain financial institutions in Myanmar frozen, and visa restrictions imposed on officials of the previous Myanmar military government.

Following the improvement of relations between Myanmar and the Unite States in the past year, prompted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the Southeast Asian nation, the Unite States eased sanctions on Myanmar with the U.S. Treasury relaxing some of the sanctions on it recently to allow financial transactions to support the country's certain humanitarian and development projects.

In recognition of the country's political and economic reform, the European Union (EU) countries, including Norway and Switzerland, also suspended most of its sanctions on Myanmar in April for one year except an arms embargo. The sanction lifting was followed by Canada and Australia.

Besides, the International Labor Organization (ILO) also lifted more than a decade-old restrictions on Myanmar in recognition of its progress including a new law on trade unions and a pledge to end forced labor by 2015.

Japan has also announced that it will write off 300 billion yen (about 3.7 billion U.S. dollars) debt of Myanmar and resume development aid to support the country's democratic and economic reforms.

Moreover, Britain has committed 185 million pounds (289 million U.S. dollars) for the next four years to fund health and education projects in Myanmar through non-governmental organizations.

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