The US recently exercised a partial waiver authority under U.S. law which allows the US to support the work of international financial institutions (IFIs) including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to operate in Burma, notwithstanding the existing U.S. sanctions regime.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, the Burmese military junta government refused to allow international aid to enter the country, and even handed large prison sentences to Burmese individuals who had stepped forward to help their fellow citizens.
Due to substandard living conditions in Burma's prisons, infectious diseases and chronic conditions are rampant among the detainee population.
As the situation in Syria devolves, Russia and China should see that they have chosen the wrong side of history with their recent veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution designed to end the atrocities in Syria.
Interviews with former Burmese political prisoners revealed that conditions in the prisons are both physically and psychologically degrading.