US Slaps Sanctions on More Myanmar Junta Members, Ruling Body

By The Irrawaddy 18 May 2021

In its latest effort to put pressure on the military regime, the Biden administration has imposed sanctions on the junta’s governing body and key figures of its administration, including those in charge of economic and monetary policy.

The US has added Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) to a list of its targeted sanctions. The body was created by coup leaders to support its unlawful overthrow of the democratically elected civilian government, the US said.

Thirteen of the individuals sanctioned are key members of the military regime, which the US said is violently repressing the pro-democracy movement in the country and is responsible for ongoing violent and lethal attacks against the Myanmar people, including the killing of children.

The other three individuals are the adult children of senior military officials General Maung Maung Kyaw and Admiral Tin Aung San. Both of them are members of the SAC and were blacklisted by the US in February.

Among those sanctioned is U Than Nyein, who was appointed by the regime as governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar following the military takeover.

Another two figures are Dr. Pwint San, the minister for commerce, and U Win Shein, the minister for planning, finance and industry, who are currently playing key roles in managing the country’s economy under the regime.

U Ko Ko Hlaing, the minister for international cooperation, has been sanctioned as well. The US also added Dr. Thet Khaing Win, minister for health and sports, and U Khin Maung Yi, the minister for natural resources and environmental conservation, to the targeted sanctions list.

Another key figure is U Thein Soe, the chairman of the military-appointed Union Election Commission, who claimed the results of the 2020 general election, which brought a landslide victory to the National League for Democracy (NLD), were invalid.

Four SAC members are included on the sanctions lists. All of them were blacklisted by the EU in April.

Mahn Nyein Maung, a former Karen National Union leader and ex-political prisoner, ran unsuccessfully for the Lower House in Ayeyarwady Region’s Pantanaw Township for the Karen People’s Party in the Nov. 8 general election.

New National Democracy Party Chairman U Thein Nyunt and National Democratic Force Chairman U Khin Maung Swe are also on the sanctions list. Both are former NLD members who quit to take part in the military-organized 2010 general election and served as MPs until 2015.

Ethnic Shan politician and SAC member U Sai Lone Hseng is also included in the sanctions list. He was a Shan State speaker representing the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party.

“Burma’s military continues to commit human rights abuses and oppress the people of Burma. Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ commitment to work with our international partners to press the Burmese military and promote accountability for those responsible for the coup and ongoing violence,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an agency of the US Treasury Department.

At least 802 civilians have been killed and 5,210 arrested by the regime’s forces since the military coup on Feb. 1, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Key SAC cabinet members who have so far evaded US sanctions include U Wunna Maung Lwin, minister for foreign affairs; U Aung Naing Oo, minister for investment and foreign economic relations; and Daw Thet Thet Khaing, minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement.

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