The Commerce Department added to its Entity List four Myanma institutions: the Ministries of Defense and Home Affairs, the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), and the Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (MEHL).
"This action restricts the export and reexport of items subject to the EAR [Export Administration Regulations ] to the Burmese Ministry of Defense and the Burmese Ministry of Home Affairs, the entities responsible for the coup, and to two commercial entities owned and operated by the Ministry of Defense and that provide it revenue," the department said in a news release, using the former name for the country in holding with the US government's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the present government.
The department further noted it had moved Myanmar into Country Group D:1, which places additional restrictions on exports to the southeast Asian country, including especially "military end use" and "military end user" restrictions.
On February 1, Myanma State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and about 400 members of parliament was arrested by the military, which declared the November 2020 elections fraudulent after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory. The military accused her of breaking COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and declared a one-year state of emergency, placing all power in the hands of army chief Min Aung Hlaing.
In response, huge protests have erupted across the country, which the military has met with deadly force. Wednesday was the deadliest day yet, with 38 people losing their lives, according to the UN envoy to the country.
Long a part of the United Kingdom's colonial empire in India, Burma gained independence in 1947 under Suu Kyi's father, Aung San. It has been repeatedly wracked by political turmoil, including numerous military coups d'etat. The country was renamed Myanmar in 1989 after a military coup overthrew the socialist government. In 2017, a conflict broke out between elements of the military and Rohingya Muslims in the western Rakhine state, resulting in an exodus of more than 700,000 people into neighboring Bangladesh and accusations of genocide levied against the army.