Right now, Myanmar is in crisis. The military junta’s brutal regime has led to widespread displacement of over 1.9 million, and over 4,000 lives have been lost. The military continues committing human rights violations with arbitrary detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings. The junta is failing to gain control on the ground and are using airstrikes against civilians.
6 years on, the world remembers the Rohingya genocide
On August 25, the Myanmar Campaign Network marked the sixth anniversary of the horrifying military attacks on the Rohingya community in Myanmar.
The brutal clearance operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017 drove over 730,000 Rohingya individuals to seek refuge in Bangladesh. These actions, characterised by calculated and methodical brutality, included killings, torture, sexual assaults, mass rape, and village destruction.
Since the military coup on February 1, 2021, the units responsible for these heinous crimes are strategically deployed throughout the country. Without intervention, the Rohingya will never be able to return safely and with dignity to Myanmar.
The challenges faced by the Rohingya are immense. Over 1 million refugees in Cox Bazaar are exposed to armed gangs, killings, extortion, sexual assault, forced marriage, and human trafficking. In India, Rohingya refugees in Jammu are illegally detained, subjected to violence by authorities. Within Myanmar, 600,000 Rohingya individuals are stateless and discriminated against, denied basic rights.
Myanmar’s military is propped up by state-owned enterprises that fund their atrocities. They rely on foreign revenue from enterprises like the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) and Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE). Billions of dollars flow into the junta’s coffers annually through these channels.
Australia has a role to play in ending this suffering. Our country continues to import timber, wood products, pearls, and gems from Myanmar. These products are directly tied to the military regime’s revenue stream.
Our call to the Australian Government – further sanctions
The Myanmar military is the root cause of the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.
Despite Australia’s previous efforts to address the Rohingya genocide through sanctions, and by issuing sanctions earlier this year, these actions only account for a mere 6% of the total international sanctions on Myanmar. It is time for stronger measures.
We urge the Australian Government to impose a second round of sanctions on state-owned enterprises and banks that fund the junta’s atrocities, as well as travel bans on senior military officials to ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are held accountable.
Australia has the power to make a difference. By imposing sanctions on the junta’s revenue streams, such as timber, wood products, pearls, and gems, we can restrict their access to crucial funds used for weaponry. This will pave the way for pro-democracy activists to gain ground and create meaningful change.
Your action matters: Join the #NoMMJunta campaign
Sign the Australian Parliament House Petition for sanctions by September 6th at http://bit.ly/nojunta.
Visit the Myanmar Campaign Network Sanctions page to learn more about the campaign and other impactful ways you can contribute.
Keep Myanmar on the agenda, and tell our government you say yes to targeted sanctions against state-owned enterprises linked to the junta!