May 11, 2022, Washington, D.C.–This week, President Biden will host leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss trade, regional security, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The summit is also an important opportunity to address the ongoing human rights crisis in Myanmar (Burma) and for the U.S. to take further action against the brutal military junta that seized power in a coup last year.
EarthRights Director of Strategy and Campaigns Keith Slack issued the following statement:
“Since February of 2021, Myanmar’s military has upended life in the country, destabilized the region, and pushed millions into a humanitarian crisis. The military has murdered more than 1,800 people, while more than 10,000 are currently detained. Meanwhile, ASEAN has made little progress in stopping the junta.
“Since taking control of the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in February of last year, the military has seized an estimated USD 1.5 billion in gas revenues. EarthRights echoes the calls of the more than 600 civil society organizations and the over 220,000 people who have called on the U.S. to sanction Myanmar’s gas revenues. Halting the crisis in Myanmar means cutting the military off from its primary source of funding and preventing it from further misappropriating state funds.
“In February of this year, the EU imposed sanctions on officials in Myanmar and MOGE. The U.S. is now lagging behind the EU. EarthRights calls on the Biden administration to sanction MOGE and grant licenses that allow gas companies to continue operating in Myanmar provided that revenues are paid into an escrow account to only be accessed by a legitimate government. The Biden administration must also ensure that businesses stop treating the military junta as if it were the legitimate government of Myanmar. To be a true democracy leader, the U.S. must take the lead and do all it can to cut off funds to the junta. Doing so will help protect human rights and support justice in Myanmar.”
Kate Fried, EarthRights International