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Jakarta Post

On Myanmar: Call for dialogue, not sanctions

  • John Riady


Jakarta   /   Tue, February 23 2021   /  01:00 am
A group of protesting engineers hold up signs calling for the release of detained Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration against the military coup in Naypyidaw on February 15, 2021. (Agence France Presse/Str)

Two turns of events in Myanmar are disturbing. The first is the military coup. The second is the imposition of sanctions on the country by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The coup itself does reflect political regression. But the solution must be to achieve a state where the military and elected politicians will be able to work together again. That rapprochement calls for dialogue between them and with international interlocutors such as the US, ASEAN, China, Russia and India. What will complicate the possibilities of a dialogue will be the imposition and possible expansion of international sanctions. Already, US President Joe Biden has ordered a series of punitive measures against Myanmar’s military leadership, including robust export controls, a freeze on cooperative US assets and a halt to billion-dollar government funds. The UK and Canada have joine...