May 18, 2009 / 1:18 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX - Sanctions on Myanmar

(Reuters) - EU ministers is considering whether to toughen sanctions on Myanmar over its treatment of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who went on trial on Monday.

A Myanmar national living in Thailand wears a mask of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally calling for Suu Kyi's release, outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Here is an overview of sanctions imposed on the former Burma and its rulers:

* EU SANCTIONS:

— The European Union adopted a Common Position on Myanmar in 1996 which contained a long-standing ban on arms sales to Myanmar and technical assistance. It prohibits the sale, supply or transfer, directly or indirectly, of equipment which might be used for internal repression.

— EU governments tightened sanctions after a crackdown on pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks in Sept. 2007. The steps targeted 1,207 firms and included visa bans and asset freezes.

— Last month the EU extended for another year a visa ban and asset freezes on the Myanmar military government and its backers. It has long called for the release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

U.S. SANCTIONS:

— President Barack Obama last week renewed U.S. sanctions against Myanmar’s military government.

— Washington has gradually tightened sanctions to try to force the generals who run Myanmar into political rapprochement with Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.

— In July 2008, the Treasury moved to block assets and transactions by Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd and the Myanmar Economic Corp, along with their subsidiaries.

— The moves banned American individuals and businesses from transactions with the firms and froze any assets they had under U.S. jurisdiction.

— The U.S. first imposed broad sanctions in 1988 after the junta’s crackdown on student-led protests. It prohibited new investment in the country by U.S. persons or entities in 1997.

— The Burma Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 banned all imports from Myanmar, restricted financial services, froze the assets of certain Myanmar financial institutions and extended visa restrictions on junta officials.

* OTHER SANCTIONS:

AUSTRALIA — Announced financial sanctions in Oct. 2007 against Myanmar’s ruling generals and their families. The measures applied to 418 individuals, including Senior General and State Peace and Development Council Chairman, Than Shwe.

— Australia has had visa restrictions on senior junta figures and a ban on defence exports since 1988.

CANADA — Imposed sanctions in Nov. 2007 banning exports to Myanmar, except for humanitarian goods, and barring imports. Froze Canadian assets of Myanmar citizens connected with the junta. Canada also prohibited the provision of financial services and the export of technical data to Myanmar and banned new investment by Canadians.

JAPAN — Japan cut aid to Myanmar in Oct. 2007.

NEW ZEALAND — Has a long-standing ban on visas for military leaders and their families.

* Asian governments have favoured a policy of engagement towards Myanmar.

* China and India have been silent on the detention of Suu Kyi but the Philippines said it was “deeply troubled and outraged over the filing of trumped-up charges”.

Sources: Reuters/www.berr.gov.uk

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