The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has published its report “The UK Government’s Response to the Myanmar Crisis”.
The Committee calls on the UK Government to treat the democratically elected National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar as a government-in-waiting, contingent on the NUG’s clear and continued commitment to the rights of different ethnic groups and minorities, and to delivering justice for past crimes.
It argues that it is essential that the UK Government’s actions do not appear to legitimise the authority of the military junta in any way. Working with ASEAN, the UK should make the release of political prisoners and the cessation of violence a fundamental part of all mediation processes.
The report recommends that actions should be taken to de-legitimise the junta’s authority, freeze the Tatmadaw’s supply of arms, and encourage regional actors to take firmer measures. The report recommends that the ultimate objective of the Government should be securing a binding Security Council resolution on an arms embargo on Myanmar, and to lead coalitions of countries enforcing individual embargoes in the interim. Pressure should also be applied to other countries to cease all training of the Myanmar military.
The Committee recommends that sanctions should be taken further by freezing the military’s revenue sources on all possible fronts, focusing first on the Myanmar businesses and organisations in key industries on which the junta is dependent.
The report recommends that the Government seeks to ensure that relevant third country financial institutions and regulators support sanctions placed on Tatmadaw-linked businesses and individuals. Banks operating in countries including Singapore and Thailand can be compelled by UK regulators to enforce UK sanctions, as they conduct transactions in British pounds. This would cut off a key intermediary for the junta’s revenues, shutting down another line of income.
The Government should not allow the military leaders to operate with impunity, and without the prospect of facing justice. The UK Government should announce its intention to intervene in the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) at the International Court of Justice. The report recommends that, should other accountability efforts fail, the Government publicly state its support for referring those responsible for the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
Myanmar nationals in UK
The Government should introduce ‘protected status’, lasting the duration of the violence, for Myanmar nationals who are currently based in the UK but are unable to renew their visas due to the military’s occupation of the embassy in London.