Press release

UK sanctions major military business interests in further measures against Myanmar military regime

The Foreign Secretary announces UK sanctions against military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced further measures targeting the Myanmar regime today (Thursday 25 March), sanctioning military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd for its involvement in serious human rights violations against the Rohingya and its association with senior military figures.

Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) is a military conglomerate owned by parts of the armed forces, and current and former military officers. Designating the entity under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime will also prohibit funds being made available to any subsidiaries “owned or controlled” by MEHL.

The designation is in response to evidence that MEHL contributed funds to support the country’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, in their campaign on ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in 2017, having reasonable cause to suspect that the funds would or may contribute to the serious human rights violations committed, and that MEHL is associated with the Commander in Chief and Deputy Commander in Chief.

The UK is announcing this action alongside the United States, who are also imposing sanctions on MEHL.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

Today’s sanctions target the military’s financial interests to help drain the sources of finance for their campaigns of repression against civilians.

The UK has been at the forefront of a strong, co-ordinated international response to situation in Myanmar. In March, the UK secured a Presidential Statement at the UN Security Council condemning violence by the regime against peaceful protestors, and called for respect of Myanmar’s democratic transition and the release of all those detained arbitrarily.

This followed 2 UK-led statements by G7 Foreign Ministers(condemning the coup in Myanmar and violence in Myanmar) and a statement at the UN Security Council in February.

These new sanctions follow last month’s designation of nine individuals from Myanmar’s military. Those sanctions focused on those directly responsible for human rights violations committed by the police and military during the coup in Myanmar, as well as the State Administration Council, which was set up following the coup to exercise the functions of state.

In conjunction with the work on sanctions, the UK has temporarily suspended all promotion of trade with Myanmar while we work with British businesses and civil society to reshape our approach to trade.

View the updated UK sanctions list.

Media enquiries


Telephone 020 7008 3100

Contact the FCDO Communication Team via email (monitored 24 hours a day) in the first instance, and we will respond as soon as possible.

Published 25 March 2021