Washington/Yangon, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- The United States imposed sanctions on Monday (Tuesday, Naypyitaw time) against two members of Myanmar’s military junta, as anti-coup protests continued in the Southeast Asian country.
The US imposed sanctions on General Maung Maung Kyaw and Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun, members of the State Administration Council, according to a statement from the Treasury Department.
The sanctions block the assets that these two soldiers may have in the US and prohibit transactions with them.
In the statement, the US warned that it will continue to work with its allies in the region and the world “to press the Burmese military and police to cease all violence against peaceful protestors, to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Burma, to urge for the immediate release of political prisoners, including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and to promote accountability for those responsible for attempting to reverse Burma’s progress toward democracy.”
“The military,” he added, “must reverse its actions and urgently restore the democratically elected government in Burma, or the Treasury Department will not hesitate to take further action.”
Monday’s sanctions are in addition to those imposed on Feb. 11 against three entities and 10 current and former officials, including the commander of the Armed Forces and coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the military uprising and the ousting of the elected government of Suu Kyi.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the “US stands with the people of Burma who demand the restoration of the democratically elected government. Today’s designations are another step to promote accountability for military leaders who perpetrate violence and attempt to suppress the will of the people.”
A day after a massive nationwide general strike, businesses in Myanmar were open again Tuesday, while smaller crowds than in past days took to the streets to demand the release of their democratically elected leaders and an end to military control.
Some gathered in downtown Yangon and others outside the Indonesian embassy as police blocked roads and kept a watchful eye on demonstrators.
A funeral was held Tuesday for a 36-year-old husband and father who was one of two protesters killed on Saturday at a demonstration in Mandalay.
At least three protesters have been shot dead with live ammunition in clashes with security forces so far, and many others have been injured.
On Feb. 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew the democratic government, detained civilian leaders, blocked internet access and suspended flights. It continues to enforce internet blackouts across the country every night from 1 am to 9 am.
The military justified its Feb. 1 seizure of power by claiming fraud in the November election, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide. EFE-EPA