July 27,2020, Myanmar: Justice For Myanmar welcomes LafargeHolcim’s announcement to liquidate their Myanmar business. We see that by halting a planned sale to their business partners, who are members of the military cartel, LafargeHolcim is denying a future revenue stream to the Myanmar military, who are war criminals. Justice For Myanmar calls on LafargeHolcim to undertake the liquidation with full transparency and ensure it has no impact on human rights, in accordance with their responsibilities under the UN GuidingPrinciples for Business and Human Rights.
Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung said: “Justice For Myanmar welcomes LafargeHolcim’s decision to cut ties with the Myanmar military cartel. Construction is a major business for the Myanmar military. Profits from business enables them to commit grave human rights violations with impunity and supports generals and their cronies to enrich themselves through the corruption of public procurement and the theft of public assets.”
According to an article published Sunday in SonntagsZeitung, LafargeHolcim decided to halt the sale to their Myanmar business partners, after a re-examination classified them as risky. In 2019, LafargeHolcim was named by the UN Fact-Finding Mission as a foreign business “with contractual or commercial ties to MEHL and MEC” and called for all business to cut ties with the military. Based in Swizterland, LafargeHolcim is the world’s biggest cement producer.
Lafarge opened a joint venture in 2014 with M.Y. Holding and Aung Myin Thu Group. M.Y. Holding is run by Ye Myint, who at the time was a former board member of Sinminn, military conglomerate MEHL’s cement manufacturer. Ye Myint left the Sinminn board after the formation of the Lafarge partnership, but continues to operate a Sinminn cement plant in Kyaukse in a joint venture with MEHL. M.Y. Holding also trades in Sinminn products. Aung Myin Thu is a crony conglomerate founded by Saw Nyein, also an active Sinminn board member. Aung Myin Thu has close ties with the family of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Until recently, Min Aung Hlaing’s daughter-in-law, Myo Yadanar Htike, was a director and shareholder of Apower Co. Ltd. and his former son-in-law, Lin Myint Phwe, was director and shareholder of Minn Pyae Tagon Industrial Co. Ltd., both subsidiaries of Aung Myin Thu Group. In September2017, Aung Myin Thu Group made two donations totalling 60,000,000 MMK to the Myanmar military, in support of genocide against the Rohingya in western Myanmar. Myo Yadanar Htike and Lin Myint Phwe have been removed from the board of Aung Myin Thu companies since publication of the UN Fact-Finding Mission report on the Myanmar military’s business networks.
See SonntagsZeitung’s reporting on LafargeHolcim’s business with the Myanmar military cartel, and their announcement to liquidate, in German here.
Justice For Myanmar is a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar. We are calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.
The UN Fact-Finding Mission’s 2019 report, The Economic Interests of the Myanmar Military, is available here.
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