Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined a group of bipartisan colleagues in urging the Administration to impose new sanctions on the Myanmar military regime in response to its coup and vicious crackdown on widespread protests.
“History shows that when the junta was previously in place in the 1990s, gas revenues from Total and Chevron/Unocal helped them to withstand international sanctions as their reserves dwindled. This time, we believe that the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s military] must be entirely prevented from accessing a steady stream of international resources,” the Senators wrote. “Instead of paying MOGE, we propose that the joint ventures involving multinational oil and gas companies pay revenue into a trust or protected account which is either held until such time as Burma has a legitimate and democratically-elected government or used for humanitarian purposes.”
“Beyond cutting off revenue to the MOGE, we encourage additional efforts by the Treasury Department to maximize and focus its investigative capacity to identify and block any flow of resources to the Tatmadaw and its network of cronies, while minimizing unintended harm to the people of Burma,” the Senators continued. “We also welcome the Administration’s efforts to ensure that our allies and others in the region work in tandem with the United States to undertake similar concrete measures that close down other sources of revenue. Working in tandem with our allies and partners, we can ensure that the people of Burma soon enjoy the safe and democratic future they are currently risking their lives to demand.”
Aiming to hit the regime where it hurts the most by cutting off access to foreign capital, the Senators wrote to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken to urge the Administration to stop money from flowing from American businesses to the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) – an agency within the Myanmar government’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy that provides financial support to leaders of the military coup including General Min Aung Hlaing, who has already been sanctioned by the United States.
The call for stronger sanctions follows the military’s seizure of power in a coup on February 1; the brutal murder of more than 700 protestors, including children; and the detention of thousands of innocent citizens across the country. The coup leaders are from the same military that previously worked to exterminate ethnic minorities like the Rohingya, Kachin, and Karen.
In addition to Senator Collins, the letter was signed by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Edward Markey (D-MA).
Click HERE to read the full letter.