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Blinken calls on Myanmar military to restore democratically-elected government

Vice-President-Joe-Biden

In a series of punitive actions against Myanmar military for the coup that was orchestrated on February 1 and detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint and other National League for Democracy (NLD) members, US President Joe Biden had signed an executive order blocking US properties and funds to Myanmar. He also ordered a redirection of USD 42.4 million of assistance away from the country.

Washington, February 12 : US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday called on Myanmar military  to relinquish power and restore the democratically-elected government in the country.

 “We join partners, allies, and others across the world in condemning the military’s actions. We stand with the duly elected representatives of the people of Burma and all those peacefully protesting this takeover. The military regime should relinquish power, restore the democratically-elected government, release all those unjustly detained, lift telecommunications and social media restrictions, and refrain from violence,” Blinken said while stressing that the restrictions should be lifted and civilian government leaders should be released.

He also informed that the US has designated six current and former military officers who led the coup, as well as four members of the newly established State Administrative Council and three business entities that are owned or controlled by the military as sanctioned. 

“These designations specifically target current or former members of the military who played a leading role in the overthrow of Burma’s democratically-elected government. They do not target the economy or people of Burma, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure we do not add to the humanitarian plight of the Burmese people,” he said.

The State Secretary sends a clear message of support to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy and human rights.

“We have been clear: this was a coup, and we will not sit idly by. This coup attempts to reject the will of the people of Burma as expressed during the November 2020 election,” said Blinken.

In a series of punitive actions against Myanmar military for the coup that was orchestrated on February 1 and detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint and other National League for Democracy (NLD) members, US President Joe Biden had signed an executive order blocking US properties and funds to Myanmar. He also ordered a redirection of USD 42.4 million of assistance away from the country.

“Today’s sanctions need not be permanent… the results of Myanmar’s November 8, 2021 elections must be respected, and Parliament should be convened at the earliest opportunity,” said the White House in the statement.

“As part of today’s actions, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will redirect USD 42.4 million of assistance away from work that benefits the Government of Myanmar, including support for reforming economic policy, to programs that support and strengthen civil society and the private sector,” read a fact sheet by the White House.

However, the USAID will continue its support to the people of Myanmar with approximately USD 69 million in bilateral programs that will provide direct benefits to sustain and improve the health of the people of Myanmar, including efforts to maintain democratic space, foster food security, support independent media, and promote peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected regions.

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