President Joe Biden is threatening new sanctions on Myanmar after its military staged a coup and arrested the civilian leaders of its government, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Biden assailed the country’s army for the coup, calling it a “direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and rule of law.” The coup in Myanmar, also known as Burma, has also been roundly condemned internationally.
“The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy,” Biden said in a statement. “The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action. The United States will stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack.”
Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the Situation in Burma:
The military’s seizure of power in Burma, the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials, and the declaration of a national state of emergency are a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law. In a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election. For almost a decade, the people of Burma have been steadily working to establish elections, civilian governance, and the peaceful transfer of power. That progress should be respected.
The international community should come together in one voice to press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they have seized, release the activists and officials they have detained, lift all telecommunications restrictions, and refrain from violence against civilians. The United States is taking note of those who stand with the people of Burma in this difficult hour. We will work with our partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition.
The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy. The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.
The United States will stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack.
Statement by White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Burma
The United States is alarmed by reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country’s democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials in Burma. President Biden has been briefed by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. We continue to affirm our strong support for Burma’s democratic institutions and, in coordination with our regional partners, urge the military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today.
The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand with the people of Burma, who have already endured so much in their quest for democracy and peace.