Six generals were cited for human rights abuses and companies were told not to work with military-linked businesses following the February 1 coup.
Britain has announced new sanctions against Myanmar generals behind the February 1 coup and said British companies should not do business with companies linked to the military, as tensions mount in Myanmar amid mass opposition to a military takeover.
The latest moves are aimed at military commander Min Aung Hlaing, as well as five other members of the Council for State Administration, which the military formed to run the country after the coup. Every member of the council is now subject to British sanctions.
In addition, the British government said it would suspend all trade promotions with Myanmar to conduct a review of its trade approach with the Southeast Asian country.
“Today’s package of actions sends a clear message to the military regime in Myanmar that those responsible for human rights violations will be held accountable, and that the authorities must hand back control to the government elected by the Myanmar people,” British Foreign Minister Dominic. Raab said in a statement.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Myanmar to oppose the coup with many workers also on strike as part of a national civil disobedience movement.
Tensions have escalated over the past week with at least two people killed in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, last weekend when police used force to disperse crowds.
On Thursday, there was more violence as pro-military groups, armed with knives and catapults, confronted anti-coup protesters in Yangon, while authorities used tear gas to disperse crowds protesting against local military replacements. official.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks detentions, said 748 people have now been arrested since the coup began, with many being taken from their homes at night.
The UK sanctions, which come into effect immediately, will prevent designated individuals from traveling to the UK and mean businesses and institutions cannot handle their funds or economic resources in the UK. The United States has announced similar sanctions, while the European Union this week said it was “ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for military coups and their economic interests”.
As part of the trade review, the Department of International Trade will work on measures to “ensure that British companies in Myanmar do not trade with military-owned businesses,” the government said, stressing that trade also has an important role to play in reducing poverty.
The campaigners are calling on the international community to impose certain sanctions on vast military commercial empire, known as Tatmadaw in Myanmar, includes the giant conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).
The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission, established after the 2017 crackdown on Rohingya, details the extent of armed forces ‘involvement in the economy – revealing 106 MEHL and businesses owned by MEC and 27 close affiliations to the military – and the armed forces’ dominance over Myanmar’s natural resources. , including jade mining.
The Tatmadaw’s commercial interest net allows it to “protect itself from accountability and surveillance,” the UN says. “By controlling its own business empire, the Tatmadaw can circumvent the accountability and oversight that usually comes from civilian oversight of military budgets.”
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