Biden Imposes Sanctions on Myanmar Military Leaders Who Directed Coup

February 10, 2021 by Dan McCue
A cyclist bikes past a signboard with an image of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Myanmar's election commission rejected allegations by the military that fraud played a significant role in determining the outcome of November's elections, which delivered a landslide victory to Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling party. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is imposing sanctions on military leaders in Myanmar who directed the coup that deposed and detained its elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and several other individuals.

Speaking to reporters in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House, Biden said the United States will “immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests as well as close family members.”

“We will identify a first round of targets this week, and we’re also going to impose strong exports controls,” Biden said.

He went on to say Myanmar’s military leaders “must relinquish” the power they seized last week and to release their prisoners.

The Burmese military has accused Suu Kyi’s government of failing to act on its complaints that last November’s election was marred by fraud, though the election commission said it had found no evidence to support the claims.

The ruling National League for Democracy party captured 396 out of 476 seats in the Nov. 8 election, allowing it to form a government led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for another five years.

The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won only 33 seats.

It has since complained of electoral fraud and called on the government and the Union Election Commission to review the results. The military claims it has found 8.6 million irregularities in voter lists in 314 townships that could have let voters cast multiple ballots or commit other “voting malpractice.”

Days before the coup, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the nation’s commander-in-chief, told senior officers that the constitution could be revoked if the laws were not being properly enforced.

Within hours, armored vehicles were deployed in the streets of several large cities.

Since the coup, tens of thousands have marched all across the country to protest the ousting of Suu Kyi’s elected government.

Suu Kyi won a landslide election in 2015. Her administration was the first led by civilians in decades, though it faced a number of curbs to its power under a military-drafted constitution.

The executive order President Biden signed Wednesday will bar Burmese generals from getting access to $1 billion in Myanmar funds being held in banks in the United States.

Biden is also freezing U.S. assets that benefit the Burmese government, “while maintaining our support for health care, civil society groups and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly,” he said, using another name for Myanmar.

Before heading over to the Pentagon, where he and Vice President Kamala Harris were previously scheduled to address Defense Department personnel, Biden also called on the military to refrain from using violence against protestors speaking out against the coup.

During Myanmar’s years of isolation under military rule, the golden-domed Sule Pagoda, in the heart of downtown Yangon, Myanmar, served as a rallying point for political protests calling for democracy, most notably during a massive 1988 uprising and again during a 2007 revolt led by Buddhist monks.

The military used deadly force to end both of those uprisings, with estimates of hundreds if not thousands killed in 1988. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Foreign Affairs

US to Donate 500M Doses of Pfizer Vaccine to Nations Still in Throes of Pandemic
Foreign Affairs
US to Donate 500M Doses of Pfizer Vaccine to Nations Still in Throes of Pandemic
June 10, 2021
by TWN Staff

The White House announced Thursday that the United States will purchase and donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and the African Union, a historic action intended to supercharge the global fight against the pandemic.  In a statement, the White... Read More

G7 Ministers Reach Global Minimum Tax Agreement, But Some Say Deal is Too Minimal
Finance
G7 Ministers Reach Global Minimum Tax Agreement, But Some Say Deal is Too Minimal
June 7, 2021
by Reece Nations

LONDON — Finance Ministers from the Group of 7 have struck a landmark agreement to establish a 15% global minimum tax rate, discouraging large multinational companies from shifting profits to offshore tax-havens. The deal, announced over the weekend, was struck by the top economic officials from... Read More

Mexico's Midterm Elections And US-Mexico Relations
Foreign Affairs
Mexico's Midterm Elections And US-Mexico Relations
June 7, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

One of the largest elections in Mexico's history, widely described as a referendum on the president and the future of Mexico, took place over the weekend. Preliminary results show that although it will remain dominant, the president's party is projected to lose its absolute majority in... Read More

Environment, Tourism, Legacy all on the Agenda at Antarctic Treaty Meeting
Foreign Affairs
Environment, Tourism, Legacy all on the Agenda at Antarctic Treaty Meeting
June 2, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Competing claims and diplomatic disputes over Antarctica resulted in 12 countries coming together to create an Antarctic Treaty that came into force in 1961. Now 60 years later, 54 countries are involved, and policies and management of the southern pole are as complicated as... Read More

Princess Reema bint Bandar Says American Childhood Prepared Her for Ambassadorship
Political News
Princess Reema bint Bandar Says American Childhood Prepared Her for Ambassadorship
June 1, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar remembers DC’s cicadas. In fact, she says she lived through the “cicada invasion” twice during her “non-diplomatic, but highly socially-connected” childhood in Northern Virginia while her father served as Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States from... Read More

Former Patent Office Director Says American Ingenuity Answer to China IP Theft
Think Tanks
Former Patent Office Director Says American Ingenuity Answer to China IP Theft
May 28, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — From counterfeiting to talent acquisitions and even forced technology transfers, the United States has long struggled with the idea that China is facilitating or condoning the theft of American intellectual property. In fact, China is often cited as the world’s principal IP infringer. But... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top