Washington: President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar, taking action after the military this month staged a coup in the Southeast Asian country and arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians.
Biden said he was issuing an executive order that will prevent Myanmar’s generals from accessing $1 billion in assets in the United States. Biden added that more measures are to come.
“The military must relinquish power it seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma,” Biden said.
Biden said the new sanctions will allow his administration to freeze US assets that benefit Myanmar’s military leaders while maintaining support for health care programs, civil society groups and other areas that benefit the country’s people. He said the administration planned to identify specific targets of the sanctions later this week.
“The people of Burma are making their voices heard, and the world is watching,” Biden said, using an alternate name for Myanmar. “We’ll be ready to impose additional measures and we’ll continue to work with our international partners to urge other nations to join us in these efforts.”
Before Biden spoke from the White House, large crowds demonstrating against the military takeover again took to the streets in Myanmar, even after security forces ratcheted up the use of force against them and raided the headquarters of Suu Kyi’s political party.
It remains to be seen what, if any, impact the US action will have on Myanmar’s military regime. Many of the military leaders are already under sanctions because of attacks against the Muslim Rohingya minority.