London/Yangon – Burma Human Rights Network is very encouraged by yesterday’s passage of new sanctions by the US and UK against businesses connected to the Burmese military that BHRN has been advocating since 2017. Both countries sanctioned Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, a military conglomeration, and the US also sanctioned the Myanmar Economic Corporation, another key collection of business interests of the military. BHRN welcome these actions and hopes that the UK will soon also sanction MEC. These sanctions follow over 300 civilians being murdered and thousands of arrests for protesting the military’s 1 February coup.
“By going directly after the military’s economic interest, the UK and US have dealt a significant blow to the Tatmadaw’s ability to sustain its egregious behaviors. These corporations directly funded the weapons which have been used for the mass killings of minorities, protesters, and innocent civilians all across Burma. Every bit of pressure helps inhibit the military’s ability to dominate its people and these sanctions will hopefully play a major role in ushering in the end of the dictatorship. The fight for democracy in Burma may still be a long one, but today it is one with a little more hope than before” said BHRN’s Executive Director Kyaw Win.
BHRN has long called for sanctions on the interests of the Burmese military and their cronies and yesterday was a strong step towards that call. We welcome these steps by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom and we hope European Union will also target military owned companies and their cronies.
BHRN urges the UK to sanction MEC and to work with other democratic nations to explore further actions to put an end to the Tatmadaw’s reign of terror over the Burmese people. BHRN also urges the EU and the rest of the international community to sanction MEC and MEHL. The international community must launch an arms embargo against the Burmese army. If an arms embargo cannot be enacted through the UN Security council because of vetoes, then countries must act cooperatively outside of it. The US, UK and EU should continue to demonstrate for the world their commitment to human rights and democracy in Burma and work to build coalitions with those aspirations in mind. The Burmese military has been allowed to continue business as usual while committing murder, rape, torture, and genocide and the world must finally say enough.
Background on the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378