WASHINGTON: Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State gave statement on crisis in Burma on Monday, saying that since the military coup last month, the people of Burma have voiced their aspirations for a return to democratic governance, peace, and rule of law. The United States, together with our allies and partners, has stood with them.
In response, the military regime continues its violent crackdown, which has killed at least 194 people to-date, including peaceful protesters, Blinken added.
Furthermore, Secretary of State remarked that the junta continues its attempts to overturn the results of a democratic election by brutally repressing peaceful protesters and killing individuals who are simply demanding a say in their country’s future.
Announcing sanctions, Secretary of State Blinken commented the United States is designating Burma’s Chief of Police, Than Hlaing, and Bureau of Special Operations commander, Lieutenant General Aung Soe, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014.
We are further designating two army units, the 33rd and 77th Light Infantry Divisions (LIDs), pursuant to E.O. 14014, for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, actions or policies that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by people in Burma, he stressed.
Members of the 33rd LID were among the security forces that fired live rounds into a crowd in Mandalay, and both the 33rd LID and 77th LID are part of the Burmese security forces’ planned, systemic strategies to ramp up the use of lethal force. These designations show that this violence will not go unanswered, he stated.
Our EU partners across the Atlantic have also announced new measures today to impose costs on the Burmese military regime, creating a new EU sanctions program and further designating 11 Burmese individuals associated with the coup and related violence, many of whom the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have sanctioned, Secretary of State Blinken commented.
These actions demonstrate the international community’s condemnation of the regime and commitment to the people of Burma, he emphasized.
Reaffirming commitment against military coup, Blinken remarked today’s actions send a strong signal that we will follow through on our pledges to continue to take action against coup leaders and those who perpetrate violence.
The United States continues to call on the military regime to release all those unjustly detained; stop its attacks on civil society members, journalists, and labor unionists; halt the brutal killings by its security forces; and return power to the democratically elected government, Secretary of State Blinken concluded.