‘New blow’ against Myanmar junta’s finances lauded

Diplomatic Correspondent

21 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

A UN human rights expert Thursday welcomed the announcement of a new set of government sanctions against Myanmar’s junta by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, highlighting in particular the US designation of the junta itself, or the State Administrative Council (SAC) for sanctions.

“It is imperative that the international community ramp up the size and scope of sanctions as the junta ramps up its repression of the people of Myanmar,” said Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.

“This week the United States has taken one of the most significant steps to date against the Myanmar junta, first by sanctioning not only individuals but the State Administrative Council itself; and second, by opening the door to targeting those who continue to do business with the junta and therefore aid and abet their relentless attacks against the people of Myanmar.

“The designation of the SAC strikes a new blow to the junta’s finances. It is a significant step in the right direction.”

As a result of the designation of the SAC under US Executive Order 14014, all United States nationals are prohibited from providing funds, goods, or services that benefit the State Administrative Council, according to a statement received from Geneva.

Additionally, transactions with, involving, or for the benefit of the State Administrative Council that are undertaken in US dollars are prohibited to the extent such transactions involve the US financial sector.

This means that not only US banks, but also non-US banks and other entities that undertake transactions with a U.S. nexus could face criminal and civil penalties in the United States if they willfully facilitate US dollar transactions for the benefit of the SAC.