US, UK, Canada announce further sanctions against Myanmar, which has been in crisis since the military seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government on February 1.

People protest in Mandalay, Myanmar in this picture obtained from social media dated on May 16, 2021.
People protest in Mandalay, Myanmar in this picture obtained from social media dated on May 16, 2021. (Reuters)

US has slapped sanctions on 16 senior Myanmar officials and family members, citing their support for the government's "violent and lethal attacks" against the country's pro-democracy movement.

Among those placed on the US Treasury's blacklist on Monday were four members of the military junta's State Administration Council, seven ministers, the chairman of the military-controlled election commission, and the governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.

Three others on the lists were children of members of the State Administration Council who had been sanctioned earlier in the wake of the February 1 coup overthrowing the elected government.

Since then the country has experienced protests and strikes which have been put down with force, leaving close to 800 dead, according to a local monitoring group.

Myanmar's military regime "is violently repressing the pro-democracy movement in the country and is responsible for the ongoing violent and lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children," the Treasury said in a statement.

UK sanctions junta members 

Britain also announced similar sanctions on members of the junta.

Britain announced sanctions against state-owned enterprise Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE) on Monday, saying the move would deprive the military junta there of a key source of funding.

Myanmar has been in crisis since the military seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government on February 1.

"The designation against MGE will cut off a key source of funding for the military junta, which continues to subvert democracy and is responsible for the violent repression and serious human rights violations against the people of Myanmar, including the killing of children," the foreign office said in a statement.

Myanmar is the world's main source of jade, a sought-after stone in China, and a major source of rubies and other rare gems. 

The United States blacklisted MGE in April.

Britain has previously announced sanctions and asset freezes on other entities and individuals linked to the February coup.

"The military junta in Myanmar continues to crush democracy and attack its own people with brutal ferocity," Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a statement

"We are working with our allies to impose sanctions that hit the junta's access to finance, and deliver a return to democracy."

Canada seeks 'restoration of democracy'

Canada said it acted in coordination with the United States and Britain on Monday in imposing additional sanctions on individuals and entities tied to the Myanmar armed forces, while calling again for a restoration of democracy, a statement from the foreign ministry said.

"Canada stands with the people of Myanmar as they continue to fight to restore democracy and freedom in their country and we will not hesitate to take further action," Canada's Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies