UK and US Sanctions against Tatmadaw Set the Stage for Assertive International Response to the Coup

Press release

BROUK welcomes the simultaneous decision on 25 March by the UK and US in direct sanctions against the Tatmadaw’s economic interests, chiefly the Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).

These military-owned conglomerates have been major sources of income for the Burmese military, enabling its human rights violations and crimes against humanity, including the genocide of the Rohingya.

We urge our international partners to build on these sanctions. In particular we need action taken against the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) which has an $1 billion annual revenue. MOGE falls directly under military control and some of the largest global oil and gas companies – including Chevron, Total and Petronas – finance projects with MOGE. This is a shameful stain on these international oil companies.

“This is the time to act,” said Tun Khin, president of BROUK. “It is critical that we cut off all international resources that are being used to sustain military violence against the people of Myanmar.”

Where the UK and the US has illustrated leadership and decisiveness, the EU continues to lag behind with its response to the coup. The EU has continued with its expansive trading relationship with Myanmar. The Tatmadaw has been able to use the trading relationship with the EU to embolden its actions and use it as an example of international recognition that it desperately seeks. We urge EU Member States to take a different approach and use the leverage it has to limit the resources of the military and create the conditions for a credible political solution to the crisis.

As Rohingya representatives, we have been at the forefront of these measures since genocide of the Rohingya in 2017. For too long our voice was marginalised and ignored by the international community. But the solutions we set out still stand in order to tackle the culture of impunity that has empowered the Tatmadaw.

“Justice for the Rohingya is truly justice for all who are victims of the military’s brutality,” said Tun Khin. “An end to impunity in Myanmar will benefit every single person living in the country.”

We stand shoulder to shoulder with civilian protesters in Myanmar in our collective efforts against the military. For too long the Rohingya cause was treated as a separate issue with the democratic transition process in Myanmar. But the issues are intrinsically linked. The coup has made this evident. The onus is now on the international community to get behind a clear, comprehensive and coordinated plan that ensures the protection of all ethnic minorities and sets the ground for genuine democratic transition in Myanmar.  

For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 (0)7888714866.