WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Friday (July 2) slapped fresh sanctions on 22 individuals including four Myanmar government ministers in response to the February military coup and attacks against the country’s pro-democracy movement.
In a two-pronged action, the Treasury and Commerce Departments announced the punishments as part of Washington’s continued response to the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the new sanctions were levied “in response to the brutal campaign of violence perpetrated by the Burmese military regime and to continue imposing costs in connection with the military coup.”
The sanctions do not target the Myanmar people, but are aimed at pressuring the military to “immediately restore Burma’s path to democracy,” Blinken said.
The sanctions target Myanmar’s minister of information Chit Naing, minister for investment Aung Naing Oo, labour and immigration minister Myint Kyaing, and Thet Thet Khine, the minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement.
Three members of the powerful State Administrative Council were also hit with sanctions, as were 15 spouses and adult children of officials, in an expansion of US punishments imposed in February, March and May following the coup.
Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement the action demonstrates Washington “will continue to impose increasing costs on Burma’s military and promote accountability for those responsible for the military coup and ongoing violence.”
The Commerce Department meanwhile slapped sanctions on four business entities: King Royal Technologies, which provides satellite communications services supporting the military; and Wanbao Mining and its two subsidiaries, which have revenue-sharing agreements with a company that helps fund the country’s defence ministry.