Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

The US, Canada, UK and Australia imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s election commission, energy and mining companies, among others. The military junta says that elections will be held in the country this year.

US and allies impose more sanctions on Myanmar
US and allies impose more sanctions on Myanmar


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Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of a military coup in Myanmar, with the United States and its allies announcing more sanctions against the country. Washington, along with Canada, Britain and Australia, imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s election commission, state-owned mining companies, energy officials and others, according to a statement issued by the US Treasury Department on Tuesday. are

The statement said that this is the first time that the US has imposed sanctions on the officials, managing director and deputy managing director of Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). This sector is the country’s single largest government revenue earner.

The sanctions imposed by Washington will affect state-owned companies Mining Enterprise No. 1 and Mining Enterprise No. 2, as well as the Central Election Commission. Canada has placed six people under its own sanctions. Besides, export, sale, supply or delivery of fuel used in aircrafts has also been banned. Australia has targeted members of the military junta and a company controlled by the military.

Britain has indicted two companies and two individuals for helping fuel the Myanmar air force. These planes of the air force are used for bombing. The sanctions come at a time when Myanmar’s military has bombed and carried out other attacks on pro-democracy forces.

The proposed elections may just be a sham, UN

On Tuesday, the UN special investigator on Myanmar warned that the military junta wants to gain legitimacy by holding sham elections this year.

“While opposition leaders are arrested, detained, tortured and executed, journalists are prevented from doing their jobs and the military Free and fair elections cannot be held if criticism becomes a crime.

Myanmar’s military junta presented a plan last month to hold elections in the country by the end of this year. It is believed that the state of emergency in the country will be lifted six months before the elections.

Observers had expected the military junta to announce elections this week as the country’s state of emergency expires on Wednesday. But on Tuesday, the National Security Council and Defense Council, backed by the military junta, said, “The situation in the country has not yet returned to normal,” a statement that has cast doubt on the election. The statement accused opposition political groups of “trying to seize state power through unrest and violence.”

Strict conditions for participation in elections

The military junta recently introduced new rules for parties contesting elections. According to observers, their aim is to derail opponents of the army. The laws favor the Union Solidarity and Development Party, which lost the 2015 and 2020 elections to jailed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). Many ex-military generals are included in this party.

John Sefton, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said in an interview with the Reuters news agency that the United States has not yet imposed strict sanctions like the European Union. According to him, “no measures have been taken against the military junta so far, which would cause substantial economic damage and force the military junta to change its behavior.”

In Myanmar, military generals staged a coup in February 2021 and seized power. Since then, the country has been in a state of instability, while operations against opponents continue. According to the Assistance Association for Prisoners, an independent organization, 2,940 civilians have been killed and 17,572 arrested since the military took power in Myanmar.

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