The European Commission (EC) admits imposing sanctions to the military-owned companies in Myanmar operating in the timber sector. This possibility only came after the EFBWW and BWI sent a letter to the Commissioner responsible for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, expressing their concerns regarding the situation in Myanmar and warning about how the timber trade provides significant financial support to the military regime.
We praise that the timber state-owned companies will be considered for sanctions, but we stress the need for urgent decision and action. The EFBWW general secretary, Tom Deleu, underlines that this cannot be a mere possibility: we must halt immediately the financing of the military regime through the trade of valuable teak to the EU. Every day that goes by without a concrete decision is another day of collusion with the military regime.”
In the response sent to the EFBWW and BWI, the EC adds that all direct financial support from the European development assistance to the Government's reform programs is being withheld, and all activities that could be seen to legitimize the coup and support the military authorities have been put on hold.
For the BWI’s general secretary, Ambet Yuson, more action is needed to stop violence and the deaths and to support the people and the workers of Myanmar. “They do not lower their arms to defend democracy, and neither can we. We stand in solidarity with the Burmese workers who, despite the military junta’s use of lethal violence, remained defiant in the face of state tyranny. It is time for the European Commission and other international organisations to do the same”.