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Burma's Junta Calls US Decision To Impose Sanction "Unethical" - 2003-09-20


The Burmese military government has dismissed a U-S decision to impose sanctions on Rangoon for failing to take steps to curb human trafficking.

Burma's official state run media (today / Saturday) quoted foreign affairs officials as saying the government is "perplexed" by the latest sanctions. Rangoon called the U.S. move "unethical" and says the sanctions go against international law.

The statement outlines steps the Burmese government is taking to battle human trafficking, and says police have arrested more than 400 traffickers this year.

Burma's military denies that young people, particularly girls, are routinely forced into being sex slaves by human traffickers, who promise them legitimate service industry jobs such as housekeeping in neighboring countries.

Last June the United States criticized Burma and 14 other countries for failing to make significant effort to fight trafficking.

Earlier this month (September 10th) the United States singled out Burma, Cuba and North Korea, saying they had failed to deal responsibly with the problem.

The new sanctions are largely symbolic, barring U.S. assistance for educational and cultural programs.

The United States last month leveled sanctions against Burma for jailing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in late May.

Informtaion for this report is provided by AP, AFP and State Department.

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