As the imposition of sanctions is an ineffective mechanism to deal with state crimes, sanctions have not worked in many other cases such as Russia, Belarus, and Iran.
After the February 1 coup in Myanmar, a number of foreign states have decided to impose sanctions on the military rulers who remain undeterred.
Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy of Myanmar, addresses a meeting at the United Nations in New York. Photo: UN / Rick Bajornas (file photo)
The United Kingdom (UK) and Canada have imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s military top brass for toppling the civilian government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who – along with other leaders – was detained after the coup.
The detentions are said to be in response to the election fraud in the November election that Ms. Suu Kyi’s party National League for Democracy (NLD) won. The election commission of Myanmar has however rejected the military’s allegations of vote fraud.
Meanwhile, Japan, U.S., and Australia agree that democracy must be restored in Myanmar. After U.S. sanctions in February, the UK has decided to freeze assets and impose travel bans on three generals while Canada plans to sanction nine military officials.
Earlier in February, the UN Security Council had expressed deep concern over the military takeover in Myanmar and called for the immediate release of the country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and President Win Myint.
Following the coup, mass demonstrations by pro-democracy protesters are taking place in the Southeast Asian country which is being accused of gross human rights violations for its crackdown on the peaceful protesters.
But Myanmar’s military government is unfazed as it was expecting the sanctions as well as criticism from the international community. Reports suggest that the new government has the backing of China and Russia, which are among the top dictatorship states.
As the imposition of sanctions is an ineffective mechanism to deal with state crimes, sanctions have not worked in many other cases such as Russia, Belarus, Iran, and a host of other nations that have violated international laws and human rights.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces a charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law and on February 3 she was charged with the illegal possession of walkie-talkies, which were allegedly imported illegally, and remanded in custody. Her next court appearance is expected to take place on March 1.
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