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Federal government moves on banning Burmese products

A ban on goods imported from Myanmar (Burma) to Canada—including jewellery—is one of the ways the federal government is speaking out against human rights violations in the South Asian country, says Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier.

Responding earlier this month to a letter sent by the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) last October, Bernier outlined several sanctions already in place, including a ban on Burmese imports.

The association had urged the Stephen Harper government to ban imports of jewellery until democratic reform is achieved in Burma, which is one of the main sources of jade, rubies, and sapphires.

“The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy,” Bernier wrote. “Canada will continue to stand up for human rights and take principled positions on important issues to ensure freedom, democracy, and the rule of law—values that define our country—are enjoyed around the world.”

Other actions include:

•Â a ban on all goods exported from Canada to Burma, with the exception of the export of humanitarian goods;
•Â a freeze on assets in Canada of any designated Burmese nationals connected with the Burmese state; and
•Â a ban on new investment in Burma by Canadian persons and companies.

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