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Britain tightens sanctions net on Myanmar military

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Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, May 27, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) - Britain added three Myanmar entities to its sanctions list on Monday: state-owned pearl and timber firms, and the ‘State Administration Council’ which runs the functions of the state, a notice posted on the British government website said.

Britain said there were reasonable grounds to believe the two state-owned enterprises provided funds to the military junta, and said the State Administration Council was responsible for, or had supported, the undermining of democracy in Myanmar.

Britain, the United States and other Western states have imposed several waves of sanctions on Myanmar in an effort to increase pressure on the military since it took power in a Feb. 1 coup.

“Alongside our allies, we are placing sanctions on companies linked to Myanmar’s military junta, targeting the finances of this illegitimate regime," foreign minister Dominic Raab said.

“The military has continued its subversion of democracy and brutal killing of civilians. We will continue to hold the Junta to account and sanction those responsible, until democracy is restored.”

The junta's allegations of irregularities in a November election were rejected by the electoral commission.

Britain also strengthened its advice to businesses, stressing that they must “undertake enhanced supply chain due diligence and should not enter into trading relationships that benefit the Myanmar military.”

Reporting by William James; Editing by Kate Holton

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