Increasing violence undermines pressure for Myanmar sanctions

BANGKOK (AP) – Violence in Myanmar has escalated as officials have tightened their grip on the February 1 uprising, despite countries struggling to better control military leaders for global condemnation.

Fear of harming civilians has made the challenge doubly difficult for those who have been victims of the economic downturn developed by the epidemic but are bravely facing the dangers of arrest and injury over military withdrawals. Nevertheless, activists and experts say there are ways to increase pressure on the regime, particularly by cutting off funding sources and accessing tools of repression.

The United Nations special envoy on Friday called on the Security Council to take action to stop the violence, which has left more than a dozen protesters and more injured this week. More shootings were reported over the weekend, and a coalition of labor unions called for a strike on Monday.

“There is an urgency to take collective action,” Christine Schraner Bergner said at the meeting. “How much more can we allow the Myanmar army to get rid of?”

UN action is difficult, however, with members of the Permanent Security Council China and Russia almost certainly vetoing it. Myanmar’s neighbors, its largest trading partners and sources of investment, are similarly reluctant to resort to sanctions.

The actions of some of the pieces have already been taken. The U.S., Britain and Canada have tightened various restrictions on Myanmar’s military, its family members and other top junta leaders. The United States Department of Defense confirmed Friday that U.S. The U.S. military is pushing for more than billion 1 billion in Myanmar’s central bank funds.

But most of the military’s economic interests remain “largely unchanged,” according to a report released last week by Thomas Rendrews, a UN special envoy to Myanmar. Some governments have withheld aid and the World Bank has said it has suspended funding and is reviewing its programs.

It is not yet clear whether sanctions have been imposed, though symbolically important, although there is much attention. “We are used to sanctions and we have escaped these sanctions in the past,” Schraner Bergner told UN correspondents, responding to warnings of possible “major strong action” against the military. ‘

Andrews and other experts and human rights activists could use the ban on deals with many Myanmar companies involved in the military and the ban on weapons and technology, products and services by the authorities for surveillance and violence.

The working group Justice for Myanmar has released a list of dozens of foreign companies that say the government has been provided with such potential tools of repression, which is now completely under military control.

It cites budget documents from the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Transport and Communications showing forensic data, tracking, password recovery, purchase of drones and other devices from the US, Israel, EU, Japan and other countries. Such techniques may have benign or beneficial uses, such as combating human trafficking. But it is also being used to track down protesters both online and offline.

Prohibited transactions with military-dominated organizations, including the Myanmar Economic Corporation, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, may have minimal impact on small, private companies and individuals.

Chris Sidoti, a former member of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told a news conference that one idea was to prevent a ban on payments to banks outside the country and access to vital oil and gas revenues. Thursday.

Oil and gas are the decisive source of foreign exchange needed to pay for Myanmar’s largest exports and imports. The country’s અને 1.4 billion oil and gas and mining industries account for more than a third of exports and a large share of tax revenue.

“The money supply has to be cut off. “This is the most urgent priority and this is a direct step,” said Sidoti, one of the founding members of the newly formed International Group, known as Myanmar’s Special Advisory Council.

Unfortunately, such measures can take commitment and time, and “are not on the side of the people of Myanmar when these atrocities are being perpetrated.”

Myanmar’s economy fell into isolation after the uprising of 1 Myanmar62૨. In the decades that followed, many of the sanctions imposed by Western governments were lifted, as the country embarked on a critical transition to democracy in 2011. Some of these restrictions were re-established after the brutal operation of the army. 2017 against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the northwestern Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Australia said on Monday it had suspended defense cooperation with Myanmar and was redirecting humanitarian aid due to the uprising and the detention of an Australian citizen. Sean Turnell, an adviser to leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was captured by Junta, was detained several days after the uprising.

The European Union has said it is reviewing its policies and is ready to take preventive measures against those directly responsible for the uprising. Japan has also said the same thing it is considering what to do.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Asia called a virtual meeting on March 2 to discuss Myanmar. Its president later issued a statement calling for talks to end the violence and reach a peaceful settlement.

But since Asia accepted Myanmar as a member in 1997, reforms began long before the military, known as the Tatmada, helped select a paramilitary government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Most ASEAN governments have dictatorial leaders or one-party rule. According to tradition, they are committed to consensus and interference in each other’s internal affairs.

While they lack a hunger for sanctions, some ASEAN governments have condemned the uprising and the subsequent arrests and killings.

Marzuki Darusman, an Indonesian lawyer and former chairman of the fact-finding mission attached to Sidoti, said he believed the violent, brutal violence against protesters had shaken ASEAN’s stance that the crisis was entirely internal.

Darussalam said ASEAN considered it desirable to play a role in resolving the crisis in Myanmar.

Thailand, which shares a 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile) border with Myanmar, and more than 2 million Myanmar migrant workers, especially at a time when it is still battling the epidemic, no longer wants to part with it.

Poet Chongkittovaran, a senior fellow at the Institute for Safety and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, also believes that ASEAN wants to return to civilian government in Myanmar and that it is best to adopt a “carrot and stick” approach.

But the biggest hope, he said, is with opponents.

On Saturday, some protesters introduced the pouring of Myanmar beer, a local brand made by a military-linked company whose Japanese partner Kirin Holdings is pulling people off their feet – a serious insult in some parts of Asia.

“The people of Myanmar are very brave. This is the number one pressure on the country, “Chongkithorne said at a seminar hosted by the East-West Center in Hawaii. “It’s very clear that Janta also knows what they need to do to move forward, otherwise the approvals will be stricter.”