Burma Campaign UK expressed disappointment with sanctions announced against three Burmese military leaders by the British government today, which effectively amount to nothing more than a holiday ban.
However, the announcement that the UK will work on ways to stop British companies working with the military is a very positive step and something Burma Campaign UK has been calling on the British government to do for many years.
“These military leaders won’t have any assets in the UK to freeze, so the practical outcome of these type of sanctions is that they can’t take holidays in the UK,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of the Burma Campaign UK. “Sanctioning military companies will hit the military where it hurts, in their pockets, and it is essential that Dominic Raab moves swiftly to get these sanctions in place. We are delighted that Dominic Raab has announced that he will take steps to stop British companies doing business with the Burmese military.”
Sixteen military leaders are already subject to asset freezes and holidays bans. The British government refuses to disclose the value of assets frozen under these sanctions, but it is believed to be nothing.
People in Burma are risking their lives with mass protests and civil disobedience and calling for international support.
When Min Aung Hlaing held his military coup, he was calculating that there would be a price to pay but that it would not be too high a price. In Burma people have proved him wrong but we are yet to see sufficient effective and decisive action from the British government and the rest of the international community.
The British government has also announced welcome new measures to prevent British aid reaching the military controlled government.
“Sanctioning military leaders is largely symbolic, but the moves to sanction military companies will be much more effective,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Sanctions by themselves won’t be enough, we also need to see the UK building a coalition of countries imposing arms embargoes, and supporting international justice initiatives like referring Burma to the International Criminal Court and joining the genocide case at the World Court.”