Press Release 128 Views

JFM welcomes US action to block the Myanmar junta’s access to jet fuel

August 24th, 2023  •  Author:   Justice For Myanmar  •  5 minute read
Featured image

August 24, 2023

Justice For Myanmar welcomes the US determination authorising sanctions against any company or individual that operates in the jet fuel sector of the Myanmar economy, including through “activities related to the importation, exportation, reexportation, sale, supply, or transport, directly or indirectly, of jet fuel”. This follows the US determination ordering sanctions against companies and individuals operating in the defence sector of the Myanmar economy under Executive Order 14014 on February 10, 2021.

The new determination is an important step to dismantle the junta’s access to jet fuel, and sends a clear message that companies involved in all stages of the junta’s jet fuel supply chain can face US sanctions.

This comes after a campaign from Myanmar and international civil society calling for countries to block the junta’s access to jet fuel, and is a response to the junta’s reliance on air strikes to wage its campaign of terror against the people.

We urge the US to follow up its determination with sanctions against companies enabling the junta’s access to jet fuel, including those in the shipping and insurance industries.

We further welcome sanctions against Khin Phyu Win, Zaw Min Tun, and three Singapore companies: Shoon Energy Pte Ltd and two of its subsidiaries: PEIA Pte Ltd (formerly Puma Energy Irrawaddy Aviation) and P.E.I Energy Pte Ltd (formerly Puma Energy Irrawaddy).

Shoon group of companies, formerly Asia Sun, is a key local partner of the Myanmar military junta and is involved in importing, storing, selling and delivering jet fuel to the military.

Asia Sun’s role in the Myanmar military’s jet fuel supply chain was detailed in the Amnesty International report, Deadly Cargo, with research contributed by Justice For Myanmar.

We note that the Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP is currently the listed auditor of two of the newly sanctioned Singapore businesses: PEIA Pte Ltd and P.E.I Energy Pte Ltd. We call on Ernst & Young to immediately cut ties with these businesses and any other companies involved in the supply of jet fuel to Myanmar.

The sanctioning of more companies in Singapore highlights the failure of the Singapore government to block the use of its territory to support the Myanmar military junta. This week, 200 civil society organisations including Justice For Myanmar sent an open letter to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Foreign Minister, urging him to introduce sanctions to prevent the direct and indirect transfer of arms, dual-use goods and technology to the Myanmar military, and to block the junta’s access to Singapore’s financial system through targeted sanctions, which it has imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Singapore should listen to the voices of Myanmar civil society and the recent recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar by taking concrete action to help end the crisis in Myanmar.

We reiterate our call for coordinated sanctions on the junta controlled Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) and the complete Shoon network. MPE controls the jet fuel supply chain, operates the Mann Refinery which produces jet fuel, and jointly owns National Energy Puma Aviation Services (NEPAS) with Shoon. NEPAS imports, stores and distributes jet fuel. Shoon Energy Thilawa Terminal Company Limited (formerly Puma Energy Asia Sun) operates a major fuel terminal and storage tanks. MPE, NEPAS and Shoon Energy Thilawa Terminal have not yet been sanctioned in any jurisdiction.

The illegal junta relies on its air force to wage a war of terror against the people of Myanmar. In the first two months of 2023 alone, Chin Human Rights Organization documented one airstrike per day in Chin State townships under martial law. A recent New York Times investigation details how the junta’s use of airstrikes against the people of Myanmar is worsening. The junta’s ability to carry out its indiscriminate airstrikes depends on its access to jet fuel.

By supporting the supply of jet fuel to the Myanmar military, businesses are complicit in the junta’s airstrikes, which amount to atrocity crimes, and all those responsible should be held accountable under international law.

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “We welcome the latest significant steps the US has taken in issuing a sanctions determination against the jet fuel sector and in sanctioning key companies and individuals that supply jet fuel to the Myanmar military, and are complicit in its indiscriminate airstrikes.

“We urge the US to swiftly follow the determination by sanctioning international businesses in the junta’s jet fuel supply chain to help stop its ongoing airstrikes against the people of Myanmar.

“We urge the US, UK, EU, Canada and Australia to coordinate sanctions against companies and individuals in the junta’s jet fuel supply chain, along with arms brokers and entities that provide the junta with sources of revenue, including Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

“It is concerning that Shoon group has continued to operate in Singapore, along with many other companiessupporting the junta’s international crimes.

“Recent US and UK sanctions against Singapore companies should be a wake-up call to the Singaporen government to act in accordance with its international responsibilities and stop allowing Singaporean companies to provide the junta with access to arms, equipment, technology, jet fuel and funds.

“We note Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s recent statement committing to a prohibition on the transfer of arms and dual use goods to Myanmar, but comprehensive action needs to be seen.”

More information:

See our November 2022 data on Shoon group of companies and its directors here, and read Amnesty International’s Deadly Cargo report, with research supported by Justice For Myanmar

Download press release in English | Burmese

View the original