WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials on Tuesday said they would lift a broad array of sanctions on Myanmar, removing restrictions on state-owned banks and businesses as they seek to reward a historic move toward democracy in a country dominated for decades by brutal military rule.
The moves, to take effect on Wednesday, will allow American individuals, banks and companies to do business with all Burmese financial institutions, easing the flow of exports in and out of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. It will also enable United States citizens living and working there to pay rent and buy goods without running afoul of the law....Read Further
In recent years, democratic reforms have swept through Myanmar, a country that for decades was ruled by a military junta. As the reforms took hold, however, things were growing progressively worse for the Rohingya, a heavily persecuted ethnic Muslim minority concentrated in the country's western state of Rakhine.
WASHINGTON — When President Obama lands in Yangon on Monday, he will be the first sitting American president to visit the country now known as Myanmar. But he will not be the first Obama to visit.
The president’s Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, spent part of World War II in what was then called Burma as a cook for a British Army captain. Although details are sometimes debated, the elder Mr. Obama’s Asian experience proved formative just as his grandson’s time growing up in Indonesia did decades later.
“His roots go through Burma,” said Timothy Parsons, an African history professor at Washington University in St. Louis who wrote a book on the colonial East African military. “It is kind of an odd intersection of his life. It’s like the three corners of the triangle come together — America, East Africa and Southeast Asia.”...Read Further