US tightens export controls to Myanmar after protesters killed
A girl holds a candle as Myanmar migrants living in Thailand take part in a candlelight vigil at a memorial in Bangkok on March 4, 2021 to honour those who died during demonstrations against the military coup in their homeland.
Lillian Suwanrumpha/ AFP

US tightens export controls to Myanmar after protesters killed

(Agence France-Presse) - March 5, 2021 - 9:46am

WASHINGTON, United States -- The United States on Friday tightened export controls on Myanmar, imposing its latest sanctions in response to the junta's deadly violence against democracy protesters.

Myanmar was reclassified into the same group as US adversaries Russia and China in the level of scrutiny for any sensitive technology or materials, with restrictions on any exports that could be put to military use.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was taking the latest measures "in response to shocking and deadly violence against protestors in Burma."

"We call for the restoration of democracy in Burma," he wrote on Twitter, using Myanmar's former name.

The Commerce Department said it was taking the measures and studying further actions "in response to the military coup and escalating violence against peaceful protesters."

The new regulations affect exports to Myanmar's ministries of defense and home affairs as well as two state-owned firms, Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holding Limited.

State Department spokesman Ned Price voiced outrage after more protesters were shot dead by the junta, which on February 1 ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi following a decade of democracy.

"This latest escalation in violence demonstrates the fact of the junta's complete disregard for their own people -- for the people of Burma. It is unacceptable," Price said.

"The United States will continue to respond in tandem with our partners and allies around the world," he said.

Price added that the United States was also "deeply concerned" about the arrests of journalists and renewed a call for their immediate release. 

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