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EU sanctions against Tay Za’s son lifted


(Mizzima) – European Union sanctions affecting Pye Phyo Tay Za, the son of one of Burma’ most prominent businessmen, have been dropped, in response to a ruling that despite his father's close ties to the former military regime there was no direct link on the part of his son.

Pye Phyo Tay Za lodged a complaint with the court in 2008, after EU officials placed him on a list of people who it said benefited from the regime's economic policies, according to an article on the Voice of America website.

Pye Phyo Tay Za argued that he had no links either to his father's businesses or to business practices of the military. The European Court of Justice ruled that Pye Phyo Tay Za be allowed to regain access to his accounts in Europe, as he had testified that he was not connected to his father's business interests, that he had lived with his mother in Singapore from the age of 13, that he had never worked for his father and that he had no shareholdings in companies in Burma.

His father remains on the EU and U.S. sanctions list. His major business interests include Htoo Group and Air Bagan, the country's first and only fully privately owned airline. Other activities include construction, tourism, infrastructure projects, and mobile phone services.

Tay Za's airline Air Bagan is the main sponsor of the Yangon United Football Club, one of nine professional football clubs in Burma. His son is chairman of the club.

In 2007, following protests against the junta on the streets of many cities in Burma, the United States government imposed sanctions against Tay Za and the companies he controls including Htoo Trading and Air Bagan.

The European Union imposed targeted sanctions against Burma in 1996, and officials are now in a process of deciding whether to lift sanctions after Burma’s April 1 by-election. EU officials have said that if the elections are free and fair further economic sanctions will be lifted. EU non-governmental aid has already started to flow into the country in recognition of the country’s recent democratic reforms. The U.S. and other western countries are also considering whether to lift their sanctions.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:16 )  

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