New York: The White House has said that the situation on the ground in Myanmar is “troubling” and the Biden administration has been working closely with its partners in the region.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference that the Biden administration has taken sanction steps to send a clear message that the coup in Myanmar is unacceptable.
The situation on the ground in Burma is troubling, she said.
The Biden administration has been working closely with its partners in the region, Psaki said.
At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the US is deeply saddened by reports that security forces in Myanmar killed as many as 24 people on March 3.
We strongly condemn the use of violence by Burmese (Myanmarese) security forces against the Burmese people, including peaceful protesters, journalists and civil society. We continue to urge the Burmese military to exercise maximum restraint, he said.
This latest escalation in violence demonstrates the fact of the junta’s complete disregard for their own people, for the people of Burma. It is unacceptable, and the world will continue to respond. The United States will continue to respond; we’ll continue to respond in tandem with our partners and allies around the world, Price said.
Tens of thousands of people in Myanmar have courageously taken to the streets peacefully to show the strength of their will and the power of their collective voice, he said.
The United States has sought, again with its partners and allies, to amplify the power of their collective voice, Price said.
We call on the military to act peacefully and with respect for human rights, including the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. These are two universal rights that are as applicable in Burma as they are anywhere else, he said.
The United States will continue to work with the international community to take meaningful action against those responsible. There will be additional action on the part of the US, he said.
We support freedom of peaceful assembly, including to protest peacefully in support of the restoration of the democratically elected government, Price said.
Deeply concerned about the increasing attacks on and arrests of journalists, the spokesperson said, calling on the military to immediately release these individuals and to cease their intimidation and harassment of the media and others who are unjustly detained for doing nothing more than their job, for doing nothing more than exercising their universal rights.
Responding to a question, Price said that the US has urged China to play a constructive role, to use their influence with the military in Myanmar to bring this coup to an end.
The US, he said, has taken a number of actions against the military junta, against the military leaders and military entities responsible for the coup and for related violence, including visa restrictions and asset blocking sanctions.
We will continue and expand our efforts to promote accountability for the military’s actions, including the detention of these journalists and the heinous violence that we’ve seen in Burma in recent days, Price added.
Myanmar’s military last month took control of the country for one year and detained top political figures, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military accused Suu Kyi’s government of not investigating allegations of voter fraud in recent elections. Suu Kyi’s party swept that election while the military-backed party performed poorly. The poll officials have rejected the allegations.
Many people have been reported killed after security personnel fired at protesters during demonstrations across the country against the coup. AFP