US drops names of Myanmar leaders from sanctioned list

Featured - September 20th, 2012

The United States has decided to drop the names of Myanmar leaders from the list of sanctioned individuals, AFP reports.

Myanmar President Thein Sein and parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann were removed “without comment” from the US Treasury’s list of “Specially Designated Nationals”. This comes a day after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in the US in her first trip to the country since being freed from house arrest.

President Thein Sein was placed on the list in 2007 when he served as prime minister during the military junta rule. Shwe Mann was a former joint chief of staff of the armed forces. Individuals and companies, mostly associated with terrorism, narcotics or other illegal activities, included in the SDN list have their assets blocked.

The US lifted sanctions on Myanmar following Suu Kyi’s call for easing pressure in an attempt to save the country’s isolated economy. “We have passed a first hurdle, but there are many more hurdles to cross,” Suu Kyi told AFP. The US’ move follows the amnesty granted by President Thein Sein to over 500 prisoners in Myanmar, including political prisoners.