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World

Myanmar generals under sanctions pressure

  • "We will be waiting for the EU sanctions announcement" on Monday, said Thinzar Shunlei Yi, one of the main activists who kicked off an online "Civil Disobedience Movement" campaign which has spilled onto the streets.
Published February 19, 2021
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YANGON: Global pressure against Myanmar's generals was swelling Friday after Britain and Canada imposed targeted sanctions, though the military showed no sign of deviating from its bid to crush opposition to their coup.

Much of the country has been in open revolt since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, with disparate strands of Myanmar society uniting to protest against a return to military rule.

Security forces have steadily stepped up the show -- and use -- of force, by deploying troops against peaceful protesters, and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.

Overnight former colonial power Britain announced sanctions against three generals for "serious human rights violations" over their roles in the junta's security forces.

Freezing their assets and imposing travel bans, the UK also said it was beginning a review to stop British businesses working with the military.

Canada sanctioned nine Myanmar military officials and accused the junta of engaging "in a systemic campaign of repressions through coercive legislative measures and use of force".

"Canada stands with the people of Myanmar in their quest for democracy and human rights," said foreign affairs minister Marc Garneau.

These actions come after US President Joe Biden last week announced Washington would cut off the generals' access to $1 billion in funds in the US.

While welcoming the sanctions, some rights groups and activists say the moves need to go further to hit the military's businesses in the lucrative gems, beer, and banking sectors.

"They fall woefully short of the strong response that is needed to hold the military to account and undermine its economic power," said Paul Donowitz, Myanmar Campaign Leader from UK-based Global Witness.

"We will be waiting for the EU sanctions announcement" on Monday, said Thinzar Shunlei Yi, one of the main activists who kicked off an online "Civil Disobedience Movement" campaign which has spilled onto the streets.

"We urge other nations to have a coordinated and united response against Military Coup in Myanmar."

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