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Cracks in the cartel: The second year of Justice For Myanmar

April 28th, 2022  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  3 minute read
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Two years since the launch of Justice For Myanmar, the movement to dismantle the military cartel has gained momentum. The people are winning.

Shop-owners and consumers are boycotting military products, hitting the military’s bottom-line and sending a strong message that resistance to the terrorist junta is everywhere.

The Myanmar Beer, Red Ruby and Mytel brands have been irreparably harmed, and will be forever remembered as a resource that war criminals use to enrich themselves and finance the bombs and bullets they use to murder the people of Myanmar.

Activists and journalists in Myanmar and around the world are tirelessly exposing nodes in the Myanmar military’s business network, pressuring companies, and their investors, to cut ties.

International companies divesting from the military cartel over the last year include Kirin Holdings, the Japanese beer giant partnered with military conglomerate Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL); Adani Ports, which is building a container terminal on land leased from Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC); Emerging Towns and Cities Singapore, operator of the Golden City development on land leased from the Myanmar Army’s Quartermaster General; and the oil majors TotalEnergiesChevronENEOS Holdings and Mitsubishi Corporation are withdrawing from gas projects that make up the junta’s biggest source of foreign revenue. But many companies remain.

While these withdrawals are a victory for the Myanmar people’s struggle against the terrorist junta, more work is needed to pressure companies to responsibly disengage, in consultation with the National Unity Government, and immediately cease all payments to military-controlled entities.

In the last year, investors have listened to the voices of the people of Myanmar and divested from businesses that continue to enable the junta’s campaign of terror. For instance, Australia’s Future Fund has divested from arms manufacturer AVIC, while Nordea Asset Management and the Dutch fund PFZW have divested from Indian arms manufacturer Bharat Electronics. Denmark’s P Plus has divested from KOGAS and Lotte Corporation and is continuing to engage with other businesses linked to the terrorist junta.

Targeted sanctions have also expanded in Canada, the EU, UK and USA to cover crony conglomerates and arms dealers, including Htoo GroupIGEKyaw Thaung GroupDynasty InternationalInternational Gateways GroupMyanmar Chemical & Machinery and Miya Win. After a global campaign, the EU sanctioned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

More must be done to deny the terrorist junta revenue and arms, and dismantle the military cartel. But the will of the people will overcome the junta’s campaign of terror.

We will continue to struggle as part of a global movement for a federal democracy in Myanmar, to end the systemic causes of inequality, corruption, violence and atrocity crimes, until the cartel is dismantled.

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