B20 Summit Partners supplied arms and equipment to Myanmar military, including after coup attempt

August 24, 2023

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Official partners of the 2023 Business 20 (B20) Summit, which is the business dialogue forum of the Group of 20 (G20), have supplied arms and equipment to the Myanmar military, including since its illegal February 1, 2021 coup attempt. India is hosting the 2023 B20 and G20 summits.  

Justice For Myanmar calls on G20 member states to urge India to end all support for the Myanmar military junta and impose an arms embargo.  

B20 Summit partners and participants should end all business with the junta and its conglomerates, in accordance with their international human rights responsibilities.

Among official B20 Summit partners are TATA, Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Forge, which have supplied arms and military equipment to Myanmar, and JFW, which has supported the construction of a military-owned port.  

The Myanmar military has been producing trucks in the Magwe Region under an agreement TATA Motors originally signed with the military’s former junta in 2010. TATA Motors Limited is part of TATA Group and is publicly listed in India. The company manufactures civilian and military vehicles.

A 2019 article published by the war criminal Min Aung Hlaing details a visit to the Magwe Tatmadaw Heavy Industries plant and confirmed TATA’s continued involvement in truck manufacturing following the military’s genocide against the Rohingya.

Indian export records also show over US$13 million in TATA Motors’ shipments of vehicles and parts to Myanmar since August 2018, including to the Myanmar Army’s Directorate of Procurement, the military conglomerate Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and TATA Motors’ private partner, Apex Greatest Industrial Company Limited.

Apex Greatest Industrial is an official service provider for TATA vehicles in Myanmar and is a current registered supplier of the Myanmar Army’s Directorate of Procurement.  

Larsen & Toubro Ltd is a publicly listed Indian conglomerate that manufactures arms and has supplied the Myanmar military with LWT-XP torpedoes. Days after the military’s coup attempt, Larsen & Toubro sent on-board spares and an alarm monitoring system to the Myanmar military arms broker, Star Sapphire Group of Companies, via its Singapore subsidiary, according to Indian export records.

Bharat Forge Limited is a publicly listed Indian conglomerate that manufactures arms. Its subsidiary, Kalyani Strategic Systems, produces field guns.

A document leaked to Justice For Myanmar shows that a delegation from Bharat Forge and Kalyani met with the Myanmar military in October 2017, during its campaign of genocide against the Rohingya. The meeting was to discuss India’s Garuda 105mm light field gun.  

News reports show that the Indian government was again in discussions with the Myanmar military as recently as October 2020 regarding the supply of 105mm field guns, which may involve Bharat Forge.  

2019 Indian import and export records show that Kalyani Strategic Systems provided maintenance and spare parts for the Myanmar military’s T90 battle tank.

JSW Steel Limited is a publicly listed subsidiary of JSW Group. According to the company’s 2021-2022 integrated report, the Adani Ports & SEZ container terminal in Myanmar is a JSW Steel showcase project. The newly constructed port, which Adani Ports recently divested from, is a partnership with the military conglomerate MEC. Adani Ports has paid MEC over US$90 million in rent, land use and “land clearance” fees, and MEC will take ownership of the lucrative and strategic port and its assets at the end of the lease, including the materials supplied by JSW.

TATA Motors, Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Forge have all provided arms and equipment that have supported the Myanmar military’s international crimes. JSW has supported an infrastructure project that enriches a military conglomerate, benefiting war criminals and helping to finance the military’s atrocities.  

TATA Motors and Larsen & Toubro are both on the Burma Campaign UK’s Dirty List of companies doing business with the Myanmar military.  

Indian state and corporate complicity in the Myanmar military’s international crimes extends beyond the actions of B20 Summit partners. As Justice For Myanmar has previously exposed, Indian state-owned companies Bharat Electronics Limited and Yantra India Limited have supplied equipment and technology to the Myanmar military junta following its coup attempt.  

Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “The Indian government’s support for the Myanmar military, with the complicity of some B20 Summit partners, should cast a shadow over the B20 and G20 summits and be a concern for participants and member states.  

“By selling arms and equipment to the junta, the Indian government and companies are choosing to ignore the voices of the Myanmar people, UN resolutions and their responsibilities under international law.

“Justice For Myanmar calls for India to immediately impose an arms embargo on the Myanmar military and end its support for the junta.

“India’s allies in the G20 should use their leverage to pressure India to finally stop the flow of arms to the murderous junta.

“B20 partners and participants should cut all ties with the junta and its conglomerates.”