MPs Call for UK to Tighten Sanctions on Burma

July 16, 2021 Updated: July 16, 2021

The Government is being urged by MPs to extend sanctions against the military regime in Burma (also known as Myanmar) while pressing for an international arms embargo.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said the crisis triggered by the ousting of the country’s civilian leaders in a coup in February called for “swift, coordinated action” by the international community.

It said the UK should take the lead within the United Nations Security Council in seeking agreement on a binding arms embargo—and to work with G7 allies and others on individual embargoes if that failed.

While the committee welcomed sanctions imposed by the Government on individuals and companies linked to the Tatmadaw military junta, it urged it to go further with action to freeze the military’s revenue sources “on all possible fronts.”

It said the UK should be prepared to support the referral of the military leadership to the International Criminal Court.

It also called on the Government to introduce “protected status” for Burmese nationals in the UK who were unable to renew their visas due to the military’s occupation of the embassy in London.

Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat said: “Since the military coup d’etat in February, hundreds of people have been killed, thousands have disappeared, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

“The military junta has inflicted deplorable violence and suffering on the people of [Burma], and whilst there has been universal condemnation, little concrete action has been taken.

“The people of [Burma] have been deprived of democracy repeatedly and at the hands of a corrupt, power-hungry military. The UK must stand by all those, both within [Burma] and outside, fighting for the most basic of democratic rights.”

By Gavin Cordon