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July 25, 2007

US to extend trade sanctions on Myanmar
The US Senate has voted to extend sanctions on military-ruled on Burma, known officially as Myanmar, for another year, sending the bill to President George W Bush, who is expected to sign it. more
The 93-1 senate vote matched Monday's vote by the House of Representatives to renew US sanctions, which include a ban on imports.

Burma has been scorned in the West for years for its poor human rights record and the continued house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier on Tuesday, the lawyer for six human rights activists who attended a US Embassy May Day talk in the Burmese capital Rangoon said Burma's military junta had put them on trial for sedition, which is punishable by life imprisonment.

The men, who are all in their late twenties and early thirties, are being tried at a closed military court inside Rangoon's notorious Insein Prison, lawyer Aung Thein said.

Burma exported about $US275.7 million ($A312.5 million) worth of clothing, seafood and other goods to the United States in 2003 before the US import ban was first imposed.

"Today, four years later, the situation in Burma remains grave. Suu Kyi continues to be a virtual prisoner in her own home. Burma's military junta continues to kill, rape, and dragoon people into forced labour," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement.

He urged Burma's neighbours in South-East Asia to step up pressure on the military junta.

"I hope we can see more progress on that front in the year ahead," Baucus said. VOA

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