Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG) aims to bankrupt the junta through tougher sanctions and diplomatic pressure, foreign minister Daw Zin Mar Aung told the media on Tuesday. “We aim to increase our efforts to lobby the international community to impose more economic sanctions and more diplomatic pressure upon the military council, which is oppressing the people and committing violence,” said Daw Zin Mar Aung. She said the NUG will engage with any country that supports efforts to end military rule in Myanmar.
The US expanded its sanctions on August 23 to aviation fuel, adding two Burmese business owners and three companies that supply jet fuel to the regime to its Specially Designated Nationals List. The US was the first country to impose sanctions after the February 1, 2021, coup with measures taken against Myanmar’s top 10 generals by February 11. The UK and Canada also imposed sanctions on the generals by February 18.
Further sanctions against the regime’s leaders, advisers, the children of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing and military-owned conglomerates followed from the US, UK and European Union in March and April. In May 2021, the US issued further sanctions on more junta members and its ruling body. The EU sanctioned junta cabinet ministers and the attorney general in June 2021 and in July the US sanctioned more junta members, their relatives and Chinese firms.
In September 2021 the UK sanctioned Tay Za, a notorious junta crony, and his businesses for providing financial support and arms to the military. To mark a year since the coup, the US, UK and Canada sanctioned three junta appointees while Washington also targeted four businessmen who were supporting the regime and two organizations providing arms and equipment.
The EU sanctioned more companies, including the junta-controlled Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise. In June 2022 the UK sanctioned three firms from Russia and three from Myanmar for supplying aircraft parts to the junta. The UK expanded these measures a month later to other junta-linked companies. In October the US placed arms dealers in Myanmar on its sanctions blacklist and in November the US and EU extended sanctions, targeting the Sky Aviator aviation company and its owner and 19 other individuals, including a minister and the chief justice.
To mark two years since the coup, the EU imposed further sanctions on junta members, its arms brokers and jet fuel suppliers. In June this year, the US sanctioned the junta’s defense ministry and the regime-run Myanma Foreign Trade Bank and Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank, which handle the junta’s foreign currency exchanges. Last month the EU sanctioned six more junta members.
The NUG’s foreign ministry thanked the countries imposing sanctions upon junta assets, individuals and allied businesses. Daw Zin Mar Aung said the NUG is also working with regional neighbors, although only East Timor has officially recognized the civilian government. “No neighboring countries have officially recognized us yet but they are communicating with us. We need to maintain these relations through engagement, proceeding silently,” she said.
Daw Zin Mar Aung praised Indonesia, the current Association of Southeast Asian Nations chair, for its active role in Myanmar’s crisis. She called for the progress to be continued next year when Laos is chair. “The military council has not respected ASEAN’s five-point consensus and it does not listen to anyone or anybody,” she said. “We urge ASEAN to keep up its progress and maintain institutional relations with the NUG as well.”
Source: THE IRRAWADDY