Sanctions against Myanmar’s military need to be tightened as the regime escalates violence on the ground, the country’s special envoy to the United Nations told CNBC this week.
“We immediately need internationally targeted, coordinated and stricter sanctions, both economically and diplomatically,” said Dr. Sasa.
In addition to punishing sanctions, the UN Security Council must also send a “unified and strong message” to stop this “crime against humanity” in Myanmar, he said.
The Southeast Asian country has been in turmoil since the military took power of a democratically elected government on February 1. Thousands have taken to the streets for weeks to protest the coup, and more than 500 people have died for political prisoners, according to the Advocacy Assistance Association.
What they are doing is terrorizing 54 million people in Myanmar every day, every moment, every second.
United Nations Special Envoy
Countries around the world have condemned the violence, while the US and Europe have sanctioned individuals or companies associated with the military.
“Shame” on the international community
Sasa also called on Russia and China to stop selling arms to the Myanmar army.
“It is very clear that they should stop selling the weapons to Burmese military generals,” he told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Tuesday.
“They terrorize 54 million people in Myanmar every day, every moment and every second,” he said.
He said Moscow and Beijing, which are closely linked to the junta, have the power to stop the violence.
“It’s up to you to make up your mind now,” said Sasa. Otherwise it is a “shame” for the two countries, the international community and the UN Security Council, he said.
MANDALAY, MYANMAR – MARCH 27: People gather to continue their protest against the military coup and the imprisonment of elected government officials in Mandalay, Myanmar on March 27, 2021.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
China and Russia, along with India and Vietnam, have helped mitigate the UN Security Council’s criticism of the military regime. They demanded that references to a coup and the threat of further action be removed from a statement by the United Nations Security Council.
“History will judge us harshly, there is no doubt about that,” he added. “You have to make decisions. You have to live with the decision you make.”
The Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss the situation.
When asked why he thinks the military would give in to pressure, Sasa said international sanctions would help lower incomes.
He said the military was taking money from national companies to buy bullets and guns, and economic restrictions would mean less money, fewer guns and fewer civilian deaths.
Sasa also said that a government of national unity will be formed in the coming days and will “not rest” until democracy and freedom are restored in Myanmar.
“We will work hard bilaterally. We will work very closely with our friends and our (allies) around the world,” he said, adding that there will be “no future” for the military generals when the country achieves democracy.