Burmese Ruby Ban LiftedBan on Burmese rubies lifted
Although it is not clear how much ruby is mined in the country's 1,000-year-old jewel making industries, Burma's origins are still highly regarded, and the country's best jewels are among the world's most sought-after gemstones. This ban was first imposed with the adoption of the JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act in 2008, an effort by Congress to put downward pressure upon the country's armed forces.
This blockage had a direct impact on the ruby trading and resulted in firms such as Tiffany & Co. banning the disposal of all Ruby products as a precaution. Several in the determination also believe it has caused the flow-grown gemstones' flow quality present. As the JADE law came to an end in 2013, many were hoping that the ban would also come to an end, given the process of democracy.
However, referring to the continuing problems of people in the gem-producing areas of the state, President Obama passed a decree that maintained the ban on rubies and jad. When the ban was lifted, Hucker and other business executives toured Myanmar - and found a land and industries willing to reconnect with the United States.
U.S. elevators ban on Burmese gems
President Obama lifted a long-standing ban on imports of Ruby and Yade from Myanmar, former Burma, in September. Whilst some in the jewellery business have been celebrating the occasion to deal in these precious stones, the gem mine industries in Myanmar continue to be abused.
As long as the country's landmines are not secure for laborers and the planet and their earnings no longer fill the bags of Burmese army pals, the trade in Burmese gems is unceasing. Myanmar's junta leaders, who until 2010 reigned the land in brutal rule and still have power in the administration, inspected the ruby mining sites and took advantage of the region's precious stone supplies.
In 2010, an analysis of the ruby mine found that the army carried out hard labour under slave-like circumstances, systematically raping females and females, and ethnically purifying minorities in the vicinity of the ruby stock. Auctioning the gems with full mine controls, the army used the winnings to finance its repressive regimes.
Burma also has some of the best jades in the hemisphere, but industries are involved in a massive war near the mine areas. Miners are also accountable for several hundred fatalities from landslips due to unjustifiable acts of fraud. By 2015, the humanitarian organization Global Witness has disclosed the current fiscal relationships between high-ranking army officials and professional miners that return money from jet aircraft to the war.
It follows a model that we have seen elsewhere in gem mining: in Angola and Zimbabwe, fellow soldiers benefit from diamond cutting through corrupted canals. Although Myanmar now has a democratic system, there is a lack of reports on the ruby mine in the Mogok Valley - a land that was banned to foreign nationals during army domination - and there is no proof that ruby miners' working practices have changed.
There has been no end to the end of junta government for those who benefit from it, and we cannot expect the same power and bribery to leave the ruby trades. The ruby exploitation has also represented a great danger to Myanmar's bio-diversity through the use of dynamics and large mine tools.
Mines have eroded soils near streams and deserted mines threaten animal life and help prevent the spreading of illness. Even the miners have neglected to rebuild the natural habitat after the mine, so the landscape is destroyed and insecure for the population. Destroying the natural habitat comes with the extraction of precious stones all over the globe, not only in Myanmar.
Unfortunately, Myanmar was not one of them at the tim. Myanmar had its first open democratically held election last year after centuries of violent armed conflict, and brought Aung San Suu Kyi, a country's leading international politician who was under domestic detention for years during the war. Aung San Suu Kyi's plan to make Myanmar's population better is a welcome transformation.
US gem prohibitions were introduced to penalize the army while it reigned. President Obama lifted the ban in reaction to the auspicious new democracies and declared his wish to let the state profit from global commerce after the regime pledged to undertake policy reforms. As we are optimistic about what Suu Kyi can achieve, President Obama's ruling was too early and Burmese miners may not see the hoped-for advantages.
The Myanmar authorities have promised to reform the country to tackle misgivings about it. From July, they will refuse to grant new licences or replace old ones, which could restrict the mighty, dirty businesses that dominate most earnings. There is also a need for more coverage of the state of ruby exploitation in Myanmar to see whether the industrial sector has changed from the state of violence in which it was under tyranny.
Although the ban was not complete, it was an important lever we could have used to push ahead with further government policy changes until Myanmar and the gem industries disappeared from the military's grip. Although the ban has already been lifted, there are still opportunities to help the process of change. Jewellers and shoppers still cannot deal or buy Burmese gems until terms have improved, and as Global Witness proposes, the US can still participate by enacting laws and demanding openness from mines.
Although we have cause to believe in a better prosperous past in Myanmar's gem-mining industry, we cannot close our eyes until that prosperous past is here.