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Global Witness welcomes UK and US sanctions on Myanmar military businesses

March 25th, 2021  •  Author:   Global Witness  •  2 minute read
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Global Witness welcomes today’s decisions by the United Kingdom and United States to sanction Myanmar military conglomerate Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL). The U.S. also designated military conglomerate Myanma Economic Corporation Limited (MEC) for sanctions.

These designations ban individuals and companies from doing business with entities that have been among the Tatmadaw’s largest sources of revenue for decades. MEHL’s reach in Myanmar’s economy includes the country’s largest beer and cigarette brands and extends into jade mining, life insurance, manufacturing and real estate.

Paul Donowitz, Myanmar Campaign Leader at Global Witness said:

“This is an important step in cutting off key sources of funding to the military regime. MEHL and MEC provide vast amounts of revenues to the military, helping to enable its illegitimate power grab and fund its abuses against the people of Myanmar.”

“As Myanmar’s people continue to peacefully and courageously protest against the military in the face of an increasingly violent crackdown, today’s announcement by the UK and US sends a strong signal to the Tatmadaw that there will be financial consequences for their actions.”

“Now the European Union needs to step up and follow suit by sanctioning the military’s businesses interests, building on sanctions it imposed against senior members of the regime earlier this week. The UK should also follow the US in imposing sanctions on MEC, another vast network of companies that enriches the military.”

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