The US Campaign for Burma (USCB) said it is disappointed in the US decision to lift import sanctions on Burma.
The situation in Burma does not justify the lifting of all sanctions, said the group. It said the government continues to be undermined by the Burmese military who continue to violate the terms of ethnic cease-fire agreements.
It said the Burmese military has refused to obey an order to stop fighting in Kachin State, where fighting has resumed since June 2011.
The group cited three major areas of concern including the judiciary system, an economy still controlled by the military, crony capitalists, and families of the regime, and a military system still above the law and dominant in the country’s political affairs with unchecked powers.
It said there is no sign in sight that the Burmese military will stop committing human rights violations and come under civilian control.
“These changes are not secure and irreversible yet, and it is the major reason for the argument made by key stakeholders of Burma, ethnic nationalities, civil society organizations and democracy activists who all request the United States to maintain the remaining sanctions. However, their voices are simply ignored”, said Aung Din, a former political prisoner and executive director of US Campaign for Burma.
The lifting of sanctions on Burma delegitimizes ethnic nationalities’ demands for a cessation of hostilities in Kachin State, and prematurely rewards the Burmese regime while the military undertakes a clear escalation of violence, he said.
He said the removal of sanctions condones the violence, exacerbates the conflict, destabilizes the negotiations, and sets back the peace process.