On May 17, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the UK’s Foreign Secretary and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs coordinated efforts to concurrently impose sanctions against the Myanmar/Burma military regime to demonstrate their opposition to the Burmese military’s violent attacks against the people of Burma including the killing of children, and the regime’s ongoing efforts to repress Burma’s pro-democracy movement.
OFAC designated 16 individuals and one entity with ties to the Burmese military regime, pursuant to Executive Order 14014, “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma.” The designations target thirteen individuals who are key members of the military regime and three that are adult children of previously designated senior Burmese military officials. OFAC also sanctioned the State Administrative Council (SAC) which is the official name of the military government in Burma, and emphasized that these sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma. OFAC designations block all US property and property interests that belong to sanctioned individuals and entities, and generally prohibit all transactions with these parties, including transactions with businesses that are owned 50 percent or more by a sanctioned party.
The UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced new sanctions imposed against Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE), a multi-billion dollar, state-owned gem trade business that is used as a key source of funding by the Burmese military regime. Sanctions were imposed in an effort to cut off funding to the military junta and pressure the regime to end the coup. The designations impose asset freezes to prevent anyone in the UK from providing funds and economic resources to the company. The UK also urged all countries to suspend arms sales to Burma and called for all companies to “cut ties with military-linked businesses with direct effect.”
Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau announced additional sanctions against 16 individuals and 10 entities with ties the Burmese military regime that were implemented under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations, and also urged other countries to impose similar measures, including arms embargos. Canada also emphasized that it stands in solidarity with the people of Burma and is prepared to lend its support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that has played a central role in the response to the crisis in Burma.