Credit Where Credit Is Due: The US Government Demonstrates Human Rights Leadership on Myanmar
— July 18, 2019
By Michael Posner
In announcing the sanctions, which prohibit the generals and their families from traveling to the United States, Secretary of State Pompeo did not pull his punches. He made clear that the generals were being sanctioned “based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights.” He also said: “We remain concerned that the Burmese government has taken no actions to hold accountable those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, and there are continued reports of the Burmese military committing human rights violations and abuses throughout the country.”
While the practical import of these sanctions may be nil, since none of the generals were likely to visit the United States, the symbolic importance is clear. Pompeo’s public rebuke of the generals seriously sets back Myanmar’s nearly decade-long effort to build stronger diplomatic and economic relations with the United States. The U.S. is the first government to publically sanction Myanmar’s most senior military leaders.
Read the full Forbes article.
Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.