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Myanmar Sanctions Begin To Be Lifted

It started last weekend with British prime Minister David Camerons visit to Myanmar last week where he indicated he would lobby the EU to begin lifting sanctions on Myanmar.

David Cameron has said economic sanctions against Burma should be suspended in recognition of the changes taking place in the country.

The prime minister spoke after a meeting with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.

Ms Suu Kyi welcomed his call and said the suspension of sanctions would "strengthen the hand of the reformers".

Mr Cameron is the first Western leader to visit Burma since her success in a series of parliamentary by-elections.

He is also the first UK prime minister to visit the country since it gained independence in 1948.

Earlier, Mr Cameron met President Thein Sein and said the government had to demonstrate that moves to democracy were "irreversible".

This was an important signal because unlike Hillary Clinton Cameron is an actual head of state and the first to visit since the elections. Australia soon announced it would lift some sanctions.

Australia will ease some of its sanctions against Burma - including a travel ban on its president - following the landslide byelection victory by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this month.

Speaking from London, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced Australia will reduce the number of Burmese people subject to travel bans from 392 to 130, to reward democratic progress in the country.

Finally the US announced today it would lift some sanctions on humanitarian and financial aid for NGO's operating in Myanmar.

The United States Treasury relaxed sanctions on Myanmar on Tuesday to permit financial transactions to support certain humanitarian and development projects in the country. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized financial transactions for a range of nonprofit projects and programs in areas that include good governance, health, education and sports.

The steps in the right direction continue and economic sanctions and sanctions on investors should be lifted sooner rather than later.