President Joe Biden is threatening Myanmar’s military leadership, following its coup against the country’s elected leaders on Monday.
In a statement, Biden threatened sanctions in response to the overthrow of Myanmar’s civilian government, and promised to take action against the military regime if the situation worsens.
“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,” said Biden.
The U.S. continues to refer to Myanmar as Burma due to the circumstances surrounding the country’s name change back in 1989.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he said.
“The United States is taking note of those who stand with the people of Burma in this difficult hour,” Biden added. “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.”
Biden noted that the United States has removed sanctions on Myanmar in the past following progress towards establishing a democratic government.
“The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action,” he said. “The United States will stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack.”