Escalating violence raises pressure for Myanmar sanctions

| | Bangkok
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Escalating violence raises pressure for Myanmar sanctions

Tuesday, 09 March 2021 | AP | Bangkok

The escalation of violence in Myanmar as authorities crack down on protests against the February 1 coup is raising pressure for more sanctions against the junta, even as countries struggle over how to best sway military leaders inured to global condemnation.

The challenge is made doubly difficult by fears of harming ordinary citizens who were already suffering from an economic slump worsened by the pandemic but are braving risks of arrest and injury to voice outrage over the military takeover. Still, activists and experts say there are ways to ramp up pressure on the regime, especially by cutting off sources of funding and access to the tools of repression.

The UN special envoy on Friday urged the Security Council to act to quell junta violence that this week killed about 50 demonstrators and injured scores more. More shootings were reported over the weekend, and a coalition of labor unions called a strike for Monday.         

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