Wednesday, August 4, 2021

US imposes sanctions on children of Myanmar military leader, their companies

Coup leader is alleged to have 'abused his power to benefit his family, who have profited from their access to state resources'.

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Washington on Wednesday imposed sanctions on two adult children of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing and six companies they control in response to the military’s coup and the killing of protesters, Reuters is reporting.

The Treasury Department said in a statement it has blacklisted Aung Pyae Sone and Khin Thiri Thet Mon, two children of Myanmar’s commander-in-chief who led the coup and installed himself as head of the ruling junta.

This latest Washington move against Myanmar’s military freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and bars Americans from dealing with them.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned more punitive actions could follow, and condemned the detention of up to 2,000 people and attacks by Myanmar’s security forces against unarmed protesters that he said have killed over 50 people.

“We will not hesitate to take further action against those who instigate violence and suppress the will of the people,” Blinken said in a statement.

The military has brushed off condemnation of its actions, as it has in past periods of army rule when outbreaks of protest were repressed with deadly force.

Campaign group Justice for Myanmar said in January that Min Aung Hlaing, who has been commander in chief since 2011, has “abused his power to benefit his family, who have profited from their access to state resources.”

John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, praised the Treasury’s move for directly hitting at the wealth of Min Aung Hlaing, but called for stronger action.

The US has so far held back from imposing sanctions against military conglomerates Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, which are among those used by the military to control much of the country’s economy.

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