The United States’ Tom Lantos ‘Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008’, which bars Burmese rubies and jadeite from entering America via third party countries, may cause collateral damage in Burma, according to The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA).
The importation ban encompasses all jadeite and rubies coming from Burma, including stones that have been processed in other countries such as Thailand.
ICA president Andrew Cody said the Association opposed the violent repression of individuals, human rights and pro-democracy movements in Myanmar (formerly Burma), and had asked its members to stop buying Burmese gemstones from any government sources and/or people who support such endeavors.
However, he said the ICA fears that the US Government’s decision to support a systematic ban on the trade of Burmese gemstones may cause collateral damage upon independent and poor populations engaged in mining, processing and trading activities in Myanmar and other coun-tries.
“Those who will suffer are the very people that the legislation intended to protect,” he said.
“It is a pity that the leadership in national, international and governmental agencies, people that are not really in-the-know as to what takes place on the ground, failed to consult our association on this issue,” he said.