In our Friday AM show , Staffer Hla Hla Than aired a program on a news conference held by U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) on Thursday June 5th. at the Congress.
The two Senators discussed legislation to impose economic sanctions on Burma until it improves its record on democracy and human rights. The legislation- The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 introduced by Senator McConnell and co-sponsored by Senator Feinstein imposes a United States import ban on goods manufactured in Burma and those made by the (Burmese military government) SPDC and companies owned by SPDC.
The legislation also freezes assets of the SPDC in the United States, expands visa ban to former and present SPDC leadership and requires U.S. to oppose and vote against loans or other assistance proposed for Burma by international financial institutions.
Both the Senators also urged the Bush administration to lead an international effort to force democratic change in Burma. Senator McConnell called on Secretary of State Colin Powell to put the issue at the top of his agenda when he attends a summit of southeast Asian nations in Phnom Penh on June 18th and 19th. He also predicts speedy action on the legislation in both the House and Senate.