Saturday, November 03, 2007

Is the party over for Myanmar generals?

US "smart sanctions" hitting their mark - the generals pockets.

For Htet Tay Za, a 19-year-old member of Myanmar's elite who attends an exclusive and expensive international school in Singapore, life is often a party. A picture recently obtained by the Chiang Mai-based publication The Irrawaddy shows the young man being kissed on the cheek by a bikini clad Caucasian woman.

In another portrait, the partying youngster is seen in festive mood beside a male friend puffing on a water pipe. But the party may be over soon for Htet Tay Za, as his father who pays the bills for his lavish lifestyle, Tay Za, figures prominently in an October 19 executive order from the US Treasury Department that aims to block his assets and make it illegal for US citizens to have any business dealings with him and his private companies.

The rest of the article gets into the nitty gritty including a Who's Who of the Junta. (Can't tell your players without a program.) Nitty gritty like....

The effects of the new sanctions were felt within days of their announcement. Tay Za's Air Bagan has cancelled its international flights to both Bangkok and Singapore and remains basically grounded. Banks in Singapore, the financial center of choice for Myanmar's generals and junta-affiliated business tycoons, have reportedly become slow in processing any transactions to and from Myanmar.