US imposes sanctions on Myanmar companies as violence against protesters continues
13.03.2021 | Robert Kaufman | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US MARCH 12, 2021 08:19:00 PM | 698
The US Department of the Treasury sanctioned the two adult children of commander-in-chief of the Myanmar military, Min Aung Hlaing, on Wednesday in response to the continued violence by military forces against protesters.
In a press release, the Treasury Department labeled Min Aung Hlang as the leader of the military coup against Myanmar’s democratically elected government, saying:
The United States stands in solidarity with the people of Burma, and we remain committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for the coup and ongoing violence. The United States urges the immediate release of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, as well as all others unjustly detained since February 1, including members of civil society, journalists, and human rights activists.
These sanctions come after over a month of violence and chaos in Myanmar, triggered by the military coup d’état on February 1. So far, approximately 1,700 people have been detained and at least 53 have been killed during protests for a return to democratic governance. The Treasury Department’s sanctions focus on six companies owned by Hlaing’s two children, Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon: A & M Mahar Company Limited, Sky One Construction Company Limited, The Yangon Restaurant, The Yangon Gallery, Everfit Company Limited, and Seventh Sense Company Limited.
In condemnation of the actions taken by Myanmar’s military, Director of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki said, “The indiscriminate violence by Burma’s security forces against peaceful protesters is unacceptable. … The United States will continue to work with our international partners to press the Burmese military and police to cease all violence against peaceful protestors and to restore democracy and the rule of law in Burma.”
Although the sanctions will impose restrictions upon the companies owned in whole or in part by Hlaing’s two children, the sanctions did not go so far as to restrict military conglomerates Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited. Advocate groups like Human Rights Watch say that the sanctions put in place by the Treasury Department are another step in the right direction but do not go far enough.
For continued coverage of the situation in Myanmar, follow JURIST’s exclusive coverage from our student reporters on the ground in Myanmar here.