The chilling effect among Asian countries and call for more support for the people of Myanmar


Cait Malilay

President of Burmese Community Services

Cait Malilay, News Editor

Ukraine is not the only country that Russia is impacting.

Russia and China, two official members of the U.N. Security Council, and Serbia are supporting the violence against Myanmar’s pro-democracy civilians by supplying the military junta with weaponry, according to a report by Tom Andrews, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.

Steven Sanyu, the president of Burmese Community Services, said that countries’, especially Asian countries’, conflicts get overlooked in contrast to European countries when there is no financial direct interest at large.

“The Chinese government is the number one enemy for the Burmese people, and also Russia, the same thing,” he said.

graphic courtesy: World Atlas

However, there is division even within the Asian continent because neighbors of Myanmar like Thailand focus on their own interest.

They are afraid to get involved and support pro-democracy ideals because of its relationship with China in terms of trade, which is not pro-democracy.

“That is why we are still looking for international support, especially for neighboring countries,” he said.

Because of the junta’s actions against civilians, which, according to the The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, led to the death of over 1,500 people, the EU placed more sanctions on Myanmar to include the state-owned oil and gas company, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, according to a Human Rights Watch press release.

The new sanctions will require several energy companies like Chevron to cease their operations in Myanmar.

Although sanctions help as the natural gas earnings are the junta’s single largest source of foreign currency revenue, it’s not enough because China, its neighboring country, trades resources like oil and gas with the Myanmar military, Sanyu said.

They are thankful for the sanctions placed by the U.S. government and EU, but many people of Myanmar are saddened as they compare the attention and delivered support of arms and money to Ukraine and question why they are not getting this kind of support for pro-democracy civilians in Myanmar, Sanyu said.

“We have to have support. We have to have more pressure from our international leaders,” he said.

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