The US government has made things tougher for Myanmar military leaders by imposing more restrictions on three entities. These include two state-owned banks as well as the Ministry of Defence in Myanmar. The Myanmar Campaign Network is urging the Australian Government to do the same and put similar sanctions in place.
These sanctions on the banks will prevent military leaders from receiving and transmitting foreign currency. This currency is crucial for them to buy weapons, military equipment, and other things they use to carry out violent attacks against innocent people.
Other countries, like Canada, have also taken action against Myanmar banks. Canada has had sanctions on several banks, including Myanma Foreign Trade Bank, Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank, Myanma Economic Bank, Innwa Bank, and Myawaddy Bank LTD, since 2007.
Australia took action in 2018 by imposing sanctions on five members of the Myanmar military after the Rohingya genocide. Then, on February 1, 2023, they announced more sanctions on 16 individuals and two entities, Myanma Economic Holdings LTD and Myanmar Economic Corporation. However, the Myanmar Campaign Network points out that Australian sanctions account for only about 5% of international sanctions action on Myanmar.
Tasneem Roc, the Campaign Manager for the Myanmar Campaign Network, is urging Australia to support the actions taken by other countries. She said: “We must stop the Myanmar military by sanctioning high-value targets such as the banking sector; state-owned enterprises in offshore gas projects, mining, logging, and the gemstone industry; the aviation fuel supply chain; and those who supply arms and equipment to the junta.”
“The people of Myanmar can’t wait another two years for more Australian sanctions on Myanmar”.
Union leaders arrested
Ten unionists from Action Labor Rights, an organisation that has been declared illegal, were arrested on June 28 for negotiating for a wage rise in a garment factory. This shows that it is impossible for workers to exercise their labour rights in Myanmar. There can be no ethical sourcing from Myanmar factories under these conditions. Union Ais ABorad-APHEDA calls on the Australian Government to introduce further sanctions to isolate the Myanmar military junta.
Myanmar Update – From Coup to Revolution
A two-day conference about the struggle for democracy in Myanmar will be held at the Australian National University in Canberra on July 21 and 22, 2023. It will also be livestreamed via Zoom.
The conference seeks to explore the complexities of the revolutionary struggle; the effects of the coup on the state and economy; and the myriad ways in which the people in Myanmar are coping with deepening violence and poverty.
Some of the questions to be discussed include:
How has the coup and the popular response to it reshaped Myanmar politics?
How are new armed groups forming, and how are they sustained?
What has happened to the civil disobedience movement?
What are the social, economic, and psychological implications of continued violence?
How is the diaspora contributing to the revolution?
How can foreign governments and the international aid community best support resistance to dictatorship?
Speakers include Zin Mar Aung, Minister of Foreign Affairs, National Unity Government.
Please register here: https://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/event/2023-myanmar-update