Bush signs Burma JADE Act; Bush: Myanmar’s neighbours preventing proper implementation of sanctions; Ethnic Kachins form umbrella group to explore possibility of forming a political party
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  • US President George Bush on July 30 signed into law the Burma JADE Act, restricting the import of precious Myanmarese gems and stones and extended the existing import sanctions on Myanmar. As many as 10 Myanmarese companies were added to the sanction’s list. The US Department of Treasury stated that the sanctions targeted two
    conglomerates - the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEH) and the Myanmar
    Economic Corporation, having extensive businesses in the gem, banking and construction industries. The sanctions also targeted the No. 1 Mining Enterprise, the No. 2 Mining Enterprise and the No. 3 Mining Enterprise, all owned by the Myanmarese Ministry of Mines1.

    President Bush also stated that one of the reasons the US sanctions had not been as successful was due to the fact that Myanmar’s neighboring countries did not favor economic sanctions Rangoon. Bush was speaking to the National Media Group of Thailand2.

    Meanwhile, Irrawaddy reported that ethnic Kachin leaders have formed an umbrella group to lobby the Kachins into forming a new political party. The group included leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) and the Kachin Consultative Committee (KCC). However, reports noted that the group was not sure that it would be permitted by the government to form a political party to contest the general elections scheduled to take place sometime in 20103.