United States Eyes New Energy Sanctions on Myanmar After Execution of Activists

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Singapore Has Financial Leverage To Pressure Myanmar

For two years, the military junta has carried out systematic abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and sexual violence, that amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Sanctions also undercut the technical capacity of the civil service to run the country and carry out reform. Any government in Myanmar, whether authoritarian or democratic, has had to rely on the same bureaucracy to undertake its policy agenda. For many years, sanctions blocked technical assistance from international financial institutions and capacity-building efforts more generally for civil servants, a legacy that continues to be felt today. Denied access to capital markets, technology, information, good practice corporate standards, and models of good governance and environmental stewardship, Myanmar’s economy fell further behind its rapidly developing ASEAN neighbours. Companies from the region enthusiastically filled the gap created by Western sanctions but were not able to offer the same quality of foreign direct investment and knowledge transfer as companies from more developed jurisdictions.

Singapore Has Financial Leverage To Pressure Myanmar

Stay informed with the latest commentary and analysis on international events from experts at the Lowy Institute and around the Singapore Has Financial Leverage To Pressure Myanmar world. The release of hard-line Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu bodes ill for the rights of the country’s religious minorities.

Two Years of Myanmar’s Junta: Regional Instability, Surging Organized Crime

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts. But he said, “Singapore has a very, very important role to play”, adding that they had very good discussions there on how to wield whatever leverage they could over the regime. Myanmar Now is an independent news service providing free, accurate and unbiased news to the people of Myanmar in Burmese and English. During the NLD government, the President’s Office released a statement saying the Rose Party spent nearly 14bn kyat on its campaigns between October 2018 and September 2020. The statement also noted that the UDP failed to follow legal procedures in purchasing more than 100 acres of real estate in Yangon Region’s Hmawbi Township and in Naypyitaw, where the party had its headquarters. State-level investigations after Kyaw Myint’s arrest in late 2020 found that he had received a transfer of 16bn kyat (worth around $12m at the time) from China, conducted an unlicensed money lending business, and acquired properties by illegal means. Ahead of the 2020 election, the UDP had established branch offices in nearly every Myanmar township and a national membership of nearly 6 million, the party’s joint secretary Thike Tun said.

  • Myanmar’s military regime may soon find it more difficult to access its financial assets in Singapore, following discussions between authorities there and US officials on how to partner effectively to wield the city state’s financial leverage over the junta.
  • There is a possibility that the state of emergency may extend beyond a year based on previous declarations, and given that the constitution, written by the military, provides them with significant power.
  • (One natural gas project, called Yadana, supplies Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, with half its power, for example.) They also point to the fact that neighboring countries, including Thailand, rely heavily on Myanmar for energy imports.
  • Pacific Island nations as a bloc have demanded more ambitious emissions reductions from those countries that are polluting the most, while Vanuatu leads an effort to put the adverse effects of climate change before the International Court of Justice for their own sake—and ours.
  • Plus, by participating live, you will get a chance to ask your questions to our experts.

Viewing our greatest challenges and threats to the modern world through a human rights lens reveals not only the root causes of disruption but also offers guidance to address them. Many of these communities are also leading the charge to protect their ways of life and their homes against coal, oil, and gas operations that pollute the water they rely on to cook, clean, and drink, and result in the rising of the seas that engulf the lands where they live. Centering frontline communities and environmental defenders is one of the most powerful ways to push back against corporate and government activities that harm the environment and protect critical ecosystems needed to address the climate crisis. The logo of one of Russia’s leading human rights groups, Memorial, in its former office in Moscow, December 29, 2021. Soldiers with gas masks deployed behind barriers as protesters gather in Colombo demanding the resignation of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the country’s crippling economic crisis, May 28, 2022.

ASEAN’s huge gamble on Myanmar

As much as the NUG does not want Chinese rents to go to the military, they still need China and hope that it will be an important source of leverage. More importantly, attacks on the Chinese pipelines would put significant pressure on their ally, the Kachin Independence Army, and their partner, the Arakan Army. Maintaining those close ties is far more important to the NUG, especially as the military has increased military actions against the Arakan Army in Rakhine State, a new front that they can ill-afford. As Singapore grows diplomatically tired of the junta’s thorough lack of commitment to implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, we should expect it to make life harder for the Tatmadaw’s ability to arm itself and support its war aims.

The military is unlikely to back down, and the risk of deadly violence against protesters is high. The U.S. sanctions announced on Monday included one Myanmar businessman targeted for helping the military procure arms and another for giving it financial support. Previous economic entanglements, in fact, can be used as leverage over Myanmar’s military if only countries like Singapore and Thailand would engage more seriously. The U.S. government should clarify the significant consequences of continuing to do business with https://business-accounting.net/ individuals and entities affiliated with Myanmar’s military byissuing special guidanceregarding current sanctions. In April, ASEAN invited Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing to represent Myanmar at its Jakarta summit. In June, itrecognizedMin Aung Hlaing as “chairman” of the State Administrative Council. ASEAN did so in spite of international pressure to recognize the National Unity Government—a compilation of former NLD lawmakers forming a viable opposition to the military—as the legitimate representatives of the country.

The Next Phase of the Spring Revolution: Economic Warfare

In particular, there should be no cuts to assistance going to humanitarian agencies operating in the country’s many conflict-affected areas, which is saving lives on a daily basis. Broad economic and trade sanctions – for example, the targeting of Myanmar’s key export sectors such as natural gas, garments and agricultural products – would punish Myanmar’s population for something they are themselves protesting. The EU, whose framework of “Everything but Arms” trade privileges includes human rights conditionality, should be especially watchful. By the late 2000s, many Western leaders recognised that international pressure and sanctions had failed, and had had significant counterproductive effects.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with regional leaders during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this week.
  • PDFs are now strong enough to amass sufficient men and firepower on the military’s arms, ammunition, and ordnance facilities.
  • With its ministers and parliamentarians ousted and its leaders detained, the NLD appears subject to the military’s whim, at least for the time being.
  • The appointment of an ASEAN envoy who would help broker dialogue among the concerned parties is a key component of the five-point consensus.
  • Beyond the region, Washington may have to target military suppliers of the junta in countries like Ukraine, where Washington has some leverage.

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