The Burmese military regime refused to restore Burma’s path toward democracy and instead continues to target, attack and kill peaceful protesters in addition to conducting random attacks on bystanders. This includes security forces’ brutal actions on March 27 that left over 100 people dead. The security forces have killed over 600 people, including dozens of children.
In response to these acts of violence, the United States sanctioned Myanma Gems Enterprise, a state-owned enterprise, pursuant to Executive Order 14014. The Burmese military exploited gemstones and other natural resources to enrich itself, and Myanma Gems Enterprise is the leading company responsible for gemstone activities in Burma. These sanctions are directed at the regime and not at the people of Burma.
This “action highlights Treasury’s commitment to denying the Burmese military sources of funding, including from key state-owned enterprises throughout Burma,” said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “The United States will continue to work tirelessly, including with partners throughout the region and the world, to support the restoration of democracy and rule of law in Burma and to bring accountability to those who seek to undermine these values.”
The U.S. took this action as military leaders participated in a gems emporium in Nay Pyi Taw, under the auspices of Myanma Gems Enterprise. “By imposing targeted sanctions on this entity,” noted Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement, “we are sending a clear signal to the military that the United States will keep increasing pressure on the regime’s revenue streams until it ceases its violence, releases all those unjustly detained, lifts martial law and the nationwide state of emergency, removes telecommunications restrictions, and restores Burma to the path of democracy.”
The United States, in close coordination with its allies and partners throughout the region and the world, remains steadfast in its commitment to press the Burmese military and security forces to cease all violence against peaceful protestors, to support the restoration of Burma’s path to democracy, and to promote accountability for the coup and the horrific violence perpetrated against the people.