Myanmar: US trade sanctions an example for others

photo: Myat Thu Kyaw / NurPhoto via AFP

The decision by the US Trade Representative to suspend trade with Myanmar is an example which other countries and the European Union should follow, along with enhanced financial sanctions to stop the flow of money to the military junta.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The junta generals are child killers and mass murderers. Any government that fails to stand up to them, and any company that does business with them, is complicit in their brutal rule and the deaths of hundreds of innocent people.

“Whether it be oil and gas, commodities exported from Myanmar or financial and other services; doing business with Myanmar today means colluding with corruption. The complicity must end and the military must be completely isolated internationally for the sake of the people of Burma who are paying a terrible price for their brave defiance of the junta.”

Economic stranglehold

The military’s stranglehold on the economy, through brutality and corrupt companies like Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, is absolute. The military’s fear that this stranglehold would be weakened by a democratic government is a key reason for the military coup and the continuing bloody repression.

The ITUC is also calling on neighbouring countries to provide safe haven for refugees from the military violence, including thousands who have fled to Thailand from Karen State to escape aerial attacks. Manipur State in India has now reportedly reversed a decision to turn back refugees.