US adds new sanctions against Myanmar junta 

The US government increased pressure on the coup regime on Friday by adding four companies, seven members of the military council and 15 relatives of previously sanctioned junta officials on its expanded Myanmar sanctions list. 

The move is the latest in a series of penalties imposed against the military council and its officials following the February 1 coup that toppled the elected civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Today’s measures further demonstrate that we will continue to take additional action against, and impose costs on, the military and its leaders until they reverse course and provide for a return to democracy,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Friday. 

The seven individuals designated by the US Department of the Treasury include three members of the military coup council—Saw Daniel, Banyar Aung Moe, and Aye Nu Sein. The other four are junta-appointed cabinet members: information minister Chit Naing; investment minister Aung Naing Oo; labour minister Myint Kyaing; and Thet Thet Khine, head of the coup regime’s ministry for social welfare, relief and resettlement.

The 15 family members of previously sanctioned military officials include eight spouses and seven adult children of the junta representatives. The financial networks of these individuals “have contributed to military officials’ ill-gotten gains,” according to the US treasury department. 

“The military’s suppression of democracy and campaign of brutal violence against the people of Burma are unacceptable,” Andrea Gacki, director of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement on Friday.  

“Today’s action demonstrates that the United States will continue to impose increasing costs on Burma’s military and promote accountability for those responsible for the military coup and ongoing violence, including by targeting sources of revenue for the military and its leaders,” she said.

The US Department of Commerce also added Wanbao Mining, Ltd. and two of its subsidiaries—Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper, Ltd. and Myanmar Yang Tse Copper, Ltd.—as well as King Royal Technologies to its sanctioned entities list, saying that the companies have been known to “provide revenue and/or other support to the Burmese military.” 

“Wanbao Mining and its two subsidiaries have long been reportedly linked to labor rights violations and human rights abuses,” a statement issued by the US commerce department on Friday said.

The companies also have revenue-sharing agreements with the military’s Myanma Economic Holdings, Ltd., an already sanctioned entity that provides revenue for the junta’s ministry of defence, which is responsible for the coup, the statement said.

King Royal Technologies Co., Ltd. is not widely known among the general public, but provides satellite communications services in support of the Myanmar military, according to the US commerce department. 

“We continue encouraging like-minded allies and partners to join the United States in imposing costs on these four entities and clamping down on other sources of revenue that support the repressive and undemocratic activities of the Burmese military,” Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in the statement.

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