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The United States targets the Myanmar leadership-controlled jade industry in the new sanctions – Radio Free Asia

The United States on Thursday announced new sanctions against its multibillion-dollar jade industry, an area long controlled by Myanmar military figures, responsible for overthrow The country’s democratically elected government in the February 1 coup.

The move follows economic sanctions imposed by the US and UK in late March on other government-controlled military companies and is intended to block revenue streams that aid leaders. Myanmar’s military and military operations have killed more than 600 civil protesters. day.

“Today, the US Treasury Department’s Foreign Assets Control Office (OFAC) appointed Myanma Gems Enterprise (MGE), a Burmese state-owned organization responsible for all operations. gemstones cave in Burma, ”the ministry added in a statement on Thursday.

“Gemstones are an important economic resource for the Burmese military regime that is violently suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations in the country and that is what caused the attacks,” the Ministry of Finance said. lethal and persistent work against the Burmese people, including the killing of children ”. mentioned Myanmar by an earlier name.

“These sanctions are not aimed at the Burmese people,” the ministry said.

All MGE property or property interests in the United States either in the possession or control of a US person are currently “frozen and must be reported to OFAC,” the Department said.

The US action comes when Myanmar military leaders attend a large gem hall held in the capital Naypyidaw under the auspices of the MGE, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken added in a statement. Thursday announced the sanctions.

On Friday, nearly $ 2.5 million worth of jade were sold at the event, run by the state. New light of Myanmar reported on Thursday.

The United States will continue to put pressure on the Myanmar government “until they stop violence, release all unjust detainees, lift martial law and a national emergency, and lift restrictions. to create telecommunications and restore Burma to a democratic path, “Blinken said.

The United States and the UK previously downgraded economic sanctions in March on two Myanmar military companies that also served as important economic lifebloods for the administration, appointing Myanma Economic Holdings Public Co. , Ltd. (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited (MEC).

And in July 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and three other senior Myanmar army generals to punish tourism for their role in a 2017 military campaign that kills. thousands of Rohingya and drive more than 700,000 Ethnic minority Muslims into Bangladesh.

In 2015, Global Witness – an NGO that tracks world resource problems and corruption – estimated Myanmar’s jade production to be $ 31 billion.

In December, the Myanmar government, prior to the coup by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, announced the suspension until January of large-scale jade mining operations in the state of Kachin, where the mine is located. World’s largest jade and a magnet that attracts poor scavengers. face a growing coronavirus infection.



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