More than two thousand foreign merchants attended an annual gem auction in Burma this month, despite international calls to boycott the sale following the military-ruled country's bloody crackdown on protesters in September.
Burma's state-run "New Light of Myanmar" says more than 35-hundred lots of jade, gems and pearls were sold at the auction. The newspaper did not say how much money was made.
New York-based Human Rights Watch says the organizer of the auction, Myanmar Gems Enterprise, earned nearly 300 million dollars during the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
State media previously reported that a large percentage of the foreign merchants at the auction came from China.
Jewelry companies and human rights groups have called for a boycott of gems to protest the September crackdown and to keep funds from flowing into government coffers.
The sale of jewels is a key source of revenue for the military government.
This Information has been provided by AP, and AFP.