Myanmar Campaign Network Demands Action on Australian Involvement in Myanmar’s Mining Sector Amid Junta Atrocities

January 30th, 2024  •  Author:   Myanmar Campaign Network  •  3 minute read
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30 January 2024

Myanmar Campaign Network Demands Action on Australian Involvement in Myanmar’s Mining Sector Amid Junta Atrocities

The Myanmar Campaign Network, in light of the alarming findings that Australian-owned and led companies are providing direct and indirect support to the military junta through the mining sector, calls for immediate Australian sanctions on Myanmar’s mining sector. This action is urged on the third anniversary of the illegal military coup, specifically targeting the full network of individuals and entities involved in the sector.

The “Mines Against Humanity” report by Justice For Myanmar exposes 10 Australian-affiliated companies that have maintained operations in Myanmar even after the 2021 coup attempt. Their continued presence supports the junta through shared profits and tax contributions, and provides essential services that keep the mining sector active.

The mining sector and other natural resources in Myanmar are a financial lifeline for the military junta, with all state-owned enterprises and their bank accounts under the junta since the unlawful coup. By continuing operations, Australian entities not only may be contributing to the junta’s campaign of terror but are also violating international standards on responsible business conduct.

As this sombre anniversary approaches, MCN urges the Australian Government to take a firm stand against Myanmar’s military junta and call for targeted sanctions on the full network of individuals and entities in the mining sector, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) and major enterprises No. 1 Mining Enterprise (ME1), No. 2 Mining Enterprise (ME2) and Myanma Gems Enterprise (MGE). MCN is also calling for sanctions on other key individuals and entities such as the Department of Mines (DoM), the Department of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration (DGSE), and the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD).

Beyond mining, MCN also calls for sanctions on other revenue-rich sectors under junta control, including oil and gas, timber, pearls, gems, and petrochemicals, to cut the junta’s foreign income sources. This includes Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE), Myanmar Pearl Enterprise (MPE), and Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE).

Tasneem Roc, Campaign Manager of the Myanmar Campaign Network, said, “Three years post-coup, and the junta’s atrocities in Myanmar continue, funded largely by its mining enterprises. It is devastating that Australian owned and led companies are continuing to operate in the Myanmar sector under the savage regime. Sanctioning these state-owned enterprises isn’t just a diplomatic move; it’s a moral imperative. We can no longer be silent partners to this regime’s brutality.”

Mia Pepper, National Director, Publish What You Pay Australia, said, “There is growing evidence Australian companies are failing in human rights due diligence in Myanmar and the Australian Government is missing in action. With ongoing atrocities in Myanmar facilitated and funded by mining we strongly urge the Australian government to impose sanctions and review Australian business links to the Myanmar junta.”

Clancy Moore, CEO, Transparency International Australia said, “Myanmar scores just 23/100 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and is a very risky place for Australian linked mining companies to do business. Since the coup, the Australian government has only sanctioned 16 individuals and 2 economic entities linked to the military in comparison with the US, UK, EU and Canada introducing sanctions on 390 individuals and entities.”

Media Contact:

Tasneem Roc

Myanmar Campaign Network

[email protected]

+61 2 8203 6044

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