European bloc mulls sanctions on Myanmar as protests continue
BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) – In the wake of the US penalising two Myanmarese generals for links to the coup, the EU too is mulling sanctions on Myanmar. This comes as Western nations are demanding the junta to desist from a violent crackdown on protesters.
There was a general strike in the nation on Monday with businesses remaining shut. Large crowds assembled for a peaceful demonstration despite warning from authorities that confrontation could result in fatalities.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews said millions attended a march in a “breathtaking” turnout in spite of the threat from authorities.
“The generals are losing their power to intimidate and with it, their power. It is past time for them to stand down, as the people of Myanmar stand up,” Andrews tweeted.
Members of the European bloc expressed support for those seeking to reverse the coup and the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
“We are not prepared to stand by and watch,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Brussels, adding that sanctions would be imposed in case diplomatic efforts fail.
The bloc is mulling curbs that target businesses owned by the army, ruling out any curtailing of its trade preferences to avoid hurting poor workers.
The military has shown more restraint since the coup compared to earlier confrontations with protesters during his 50-year-old rule.
In spite of that, three protesters have been killed in clashes with security personnel. Two were shot dead in Mandalay on Saturday while a woman succumbed to bullet injury a week after she was shot in Naypyitaw.