Category Archives: Burma

“The Lady” is Free at Last

Today, Nobel Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi walked free from her house arrest in Burma. Elected to be the leader of Burma in 1990 yet blocked from serving by the military regime who refused to cede power, Daw Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the last 20 years in detention. To quote The Guardian‘s […]

Burma, Gemstones & Despots

The country of Burma is a lush and beautiful land consisting of people from many different ethnic groups. It possesses some of the finest and most precious gem resources on the planet. It is also home to one of the most repressive, totalitarian regimes currently in power. After taking over the government in a coup […]

Burma and Blood Gems

Burma Blood Gems and a Regime’s Quest for Cash *On July 29, 2008 the President of the United States signed into law the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, which cleared both the House of Representatives and Senate by a unanimous vote. This legislation bans the importation of all Burmese rubies and jade […]

Brian Leber Honored to Work with Burmese Human Rights Activists

On a number of occasions, I have had the great honor of working with human rights activists U Maung Maung and Kyaw Htut Wai from the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), an organization composed of leaders in exile who represent the democratic future of Burma. In this latest advocacy trip to Washington […]

Brian Leber on Burmese Sanctions and Diplomacy

I was quoted today by the Straights Times in a story, “Myanmar: Gem Sanctions Begin to Bite.” In this piece I state that “Economic sanctions and the support of diplomatic efforts working towards reform can go hand in hand.” Hopefully as the Obama administration formulates their Burma strategy, this philosophy will play a key role […]

U.S. Ban on Burmese Jade and Rubies Signed into Law

The President of the United States has just signed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act (HR3890) into law. It is now official. Public law no. 110-286 officially bans the importation of all Burmese ruby and jadeite into the United States. Back in 2003, I said we could do this. And we have. We extend […]

Brian Leber Interviewed for Al-Jazeera TV Segment on Myanmar (Burma)

I just taped an interview that will air on al Jazeera TV for a segment called “US Considers Closing Myanmar Gem Loophole.” “Gemstones and jewelry are supposed to be a symbol of beauty, a symbol of love. When you know that the purchase of a gemstone is buying bullets that are being used to shoot […]