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US suspends trade with Myanmar over killings

By Maureen Ikpeama

United States (U.S.) Trade Representative,

Katherine Tai, on Monday, announced the immediate suspension of all U.S. trade engagements with Myanmar under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, until the return of a democratically-elected government.

 Katherine Tai said,  via Twitter, “USTR (United States Trade Representative) will suspend all U.S. trade engagements with Burma under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

“We support the people of Burma’s efforts to restore a democratically elected government, which has been the foundation of Burma’s economic growth and reform.

“We strongly condemn the Burmese security forces’ brutal violence against civilians.

“The killing of peaceful protestors, students, workers, labour leaders, medics, and children has shocked the conscience of the international community,” Tai tweeted.


She further said, “These actions are a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the efforts of the Burmese people to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future.”

Chiefs of Defence from Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. also condemned the bloodshed in Myanmar by the armed forces and associated security services.

Joint Chiefs of Staff released a joint statement on Sunday saying, “As Chiefs of Defence, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services.”

At least 459 people have been killed across Myanmar as the military leaders continued to crackdown on peaceful protests.

People took to the streets in Kachin State and Sagaing Region in the country’s north, as well as in Dawei in the south, with many making a three-finger salute, Kyodo News reported, citing local media.

As many as 114 civilians were killed on Saturday, across Myanmar since the coup. Among those killed was a 13-year-old who was shot in her house after the armed forces opened fire on residential areas of Meikhtila.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency.

Consequently, the coup leaders detained civilian leaders including State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The coup triggered mass protests, which were met by the military’s deadly violence.

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