March 03, 2021 5:21:07 p.m.

Foreign firms should cease all business in Myanmar to send a clear message to the military that its coup will hurt its people and ruin its economy, a former United Nations expert on the country said on Wednesday > Christopher Dominic Sidoti was part of a United Nations-led fact-finding tour in 2019, in which foreign companies were urged to sever business relationships with the military in Myanmar due to human rights violations and instead to invest in the private sector there, reports Reuters.

This position has has intensified since a February 1 coup and subsequent bloody crackdown on protesters, Sidoti said, because the military has regained control of the country it has ruled for nearly half a century and it is now risky to do business there .

“When businesses are responsible, they become this one Put everything on hold at the moment, “said Sidoti, who has formed an independent advisory group for Myanmar with several other former UN investigators.

” It will send a very clear message to the military, which hopefully can lead to them rethink their actions. The country cannot return to military dictatorship without causing tremendous damage to the people of Myanmar, “he said.

The junta says it took control of the country because its complaints of fraud in the November elections were ignored . She has promised new elections but has not given a timeframe.

Activists have put pressure on foreign companies doing business in Myanmar that they say could channel funds to the military, including energy companies, international banks, Industrial giants and consumer brands.

Japanese beverage maker Kirin said last month it left a military-owned company while Australian company Woodside Petroleum reduced its presence in Myanmar amid concerns over violence against demonstrators.

Sidoti stopped calling on governments to impose massive economic sanctions stating that it would take time to impose and lift them.

When asked what impact the suspension of companies would have on livelihoods in Myanmar, one of the the least developed countries in Asia, Sidoti said: “It’s the generals and the coup that undermined the welfare of the people of Myanmar, nothing else. And anything that enables and encourages them to continue that stranglehold should be avoided at this point. “

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Editor: Shah Husain Imam

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