THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Visa Restrictions on Burma
The President today signed a Proclamation suspending the entry into the United States of persons formulating, implementing or benefiting from policies that are impeding the transition to democracy in Burma, and their immediate family members.
The Proclamation reflects the strong concerns of both the Administration and the Congress about ongoing repression by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in Burma. In flagrant defiance of international norms, the SLORC has disregarded both the human rights and the will of the people of Burma.
Most recently, the authorities have arrested or detained hundreds of members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and activists nationwide, who had planned to attend an NLD Conference in Rangoon last weekend. We deplore these actions, and call on the SLORC to release, immediately and unconditionally, all of the NLD members and other democratic activists. We also urge the SLORC to enter into a dialogue about the political future of the country with democratic opposition leaders and leaders of the ethnic minorities. We believe this is essential to political reconciliation in Burma.
We are keeping the situation under reviewwhile consulting with friends and allies. We will continue our efforts to encourage human rights and democratization in Burma.
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