Western countries, including the United States, imposed sanctions more than 10 times against military generals and over 80 persons affiliated with them, and more than 30 entities under the military in the past two years after the military coup in 2021. However, the sanctions have not significantly affected the military council, or the revenue sources of the military has not been blocked until now.
This interview with a member of Blood Money Campaign is about the need of international sanctions more severely on the military regime, its affiliated individuals and entities and how effective sanctions can be made.
TLT: What is the ongoing impact of international sanctions against the military council?
Blood Money Campaign: International sanctions against the military have no effective blow on the military. The restricted entities are not the major income sources of the military. In addition, the income flowed into individuals in various ways, not directly into state revenue, for example in timber and gems sectors. Actually, oil and gas enterprises are the major revenue sources of the military. Sanctions have not been imposed on these foreign revenues of the junta. Although timber enterprise is under the sanction, the export of timber is seen in the reports until now. Investigation of our international partners showed that the United States, Italy and some other countries are still importing Myanmar timbers. So, it is questionable about their sanctions. We urged the sanction governments to impose effective sanctions. Their sanctions are still as the paper tigers, and have no serious effect.
TLT: Who should the United States and its partners impose sanctions against the military regime, its affiliated individuals and entities?
Blood Money Campaign: We call the US and western countries for targeted sanctions against the entities we mentioned in a long list. The Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise is the major revenue resource for military junta. They receive about 2 billion US dollar each year. The military’s annual budget for defence sector is more than 1 one billion each year. As they have enough revenue, the military is continuously carrying out airstrikes. The weapons for airstrike cannot be manufactured in the country. They are purchased with the revenue from oil and gas export. The sanctions on this sector should not be delayed. Although the western countries imposed on aviation fuels, we never heard about difficult purchase of the fuel. The number of airstrikes this year alone has been more than 500. Their foreign revenue must be cut off. The US and other developed countries have turned a blind eye on this situation, causing the increase in civilian death toll. Sanctions must be effectively targeted to prominent entities and individuals. Every country needs to take actions against them. Senior military officials have taken their valuable property abroad. Their children are at foreign schools. It must be disclosed. Even the family members of deputy directors and directors are now living abroad. They have purchased property, and their children are attending schools abroad. Sanctions must be imposed on them. Again, we call for immediate sanctions against this oil and gas enterprise, as well as the state-owned banks which are transforming foreign income into official revenue.
TLT: What is your advice of effective sanctions against the military council?
Blood Money Campaign: International coordination is needed in sanction against the military. Relevant states, activists and civil society organizations need to join in monitoring enforcement of sanctions.
TLT: What is your concluding advice on international sanctions against military council?
Blood Money Campaign: We see media reports on imports of Myanmar timber from the US. We are monitoring the action of US against it. Although sanctions have been imposed on gems and jewelry sectors, the military council issued export permit of these precious items to Daw Thet Thet Khaing and Shwe Nandaw Gold and Jewelry business. It cannot be permitted without consent of western countries. So, the military seems to have no concern about sanctions of the US and the western countries.