Burma's military government has again called on the United States to lift economic sanctions against the Asian country.
A Burmese government statement issued today (Thursday) said the sanctions are forcing many Burmese into poverty and prostitution. Rangoon also said the sanctions could further destabilize the country.
The comments come three days after a U.S. State Department report called Burma's human rights record "abysmal." The report said until there is significant progress toward political transition in Burma, Washington will maintain its sanctions on Burma's military rulers.
The United States imposed sanctions on Burma in 1997 to pressure the country's military government to enact democratic reforms. Washington recently imposed tough new sanctions against Rangoon following its detention of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Information for this report is provided by AP.