UN-appointed expert says better sanctions on Myanmar needed

Sep 22, 2022, 2:16 AM | Updated: 2:22 am

BANGKOK (AP) — A United Nations-appointed human rights expert called Thursday for governments and companies to coordinate efforts to cut off the military-led government of Myanmar from its sources of revenue and weapons, saying life in the Southeastern Asian nation has become a “living hell” for many since the generals seized power last year.

Tom Andrews, in Geneva to deliver his annual report on Myanmar to the U.N. Human Rights Council, told reporters that while many countries have been imposing sanctions on individuals, military entities, financial institutions and energy companies, what is needed is “coordinated action.”

Russia and China continue to supply weapons to Myanmar, and with both having veto power on the U.N. Security Council, Andrews suggested it was unlikely it could convene and establish an arms embargo and targeted economic sanctions, leaving it up to individual countries.

“Right now you have countries doing this, countries doing that, a whole hodgepodge of things,” he said. “But they don’t add up, they’re not focused, they’re not strategic, they’re not coordinated — and that’s what has to happen.”

The army seized power in February last year, ousting the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The takeover triggered mass nonviolent protests nationwide, but when the military and police responded with deadly force, armed resistance arose in the cities and the countryside, and continues to spread.

In his report, Andrews noted that since the military takeover, about 19 million euros (dollars) worth of Myanmar teak has entered the European Union despite sanctions, and smaller amounts have entered the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Britain, providing revenue for Myanmar’s military government.

The report also says that effective sanctions should target the military’s access to foreign currency, yet only Canada has sanctioned the Myanma Foreign Trade Bank, despite it being the primary foreign exchange intermediary.

Likewise, some international companies have taken action to end relationships with military-owned businesses, but others have not, the report says.

Andrews said atrocities committed against civilians continue, citing a helicopter attack last week on a school in a Buddhist monastery, killing at least 13, including seven children, as a recent example. The government has denied the attack.

“People have no understanding of what’s going on, the living hell that life in Myanmar is right now,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

2 days ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

3 days ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

3 days ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

5 days ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former Arizona grad student convicted of first-degree murder in 2022 shooting of professor

A former University of Arizona grad student was convicted of first-degree murder after fatally shooting a professor on campus two years ago.

5 days ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

Associated Press

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona’s Kelli Ward plead not guilty in fake elector case

Giuliani appeared remotely for the arraignment that was held in a Phoenix courtroom. His trial will take place in October.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

UN-appointed expert says better sanctions on Myanmar needed