August 7, 2020, Myanmar: Myanmar Brewery remains a lucrative source of revenue for the Myanmar military, feeding their secret Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) slush fund. Through MEHL, Kirin is knowingly financially supporting the military’s crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
According to the 2nd quarter results (April 1 to June 30, 2020), released today, Myanmar Brewery’s revenue was 212 billion MMK (USD$155.86 million) with a total normalised operating profit of 93 billion MMK (USD$68.37 million). The Myanmar military has a 49% stake in the business, with Kirin owning the remaining 51%.
Justice For Myanmar Spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “August 25 will mark the third anniversary of the Myanmar military’s campaign of genocide against the Rohingya. Kirin has been a major supporter of the military, donating funds for the military’s “clearance operations” against the Rohingya and providing them with massive business revenue. This has enabled the military to continue to commit international human rights crimes against ethnic communities, including Shan, Kachin and Rakhine. Kirin must take responsibility for its complicity in these crimes. Justice For Myanmar calls on Kirin to cut ties with the Myanmar military.”
On September 1, 2017, Kirin donated approximately USD$12,000 to the Myanmar military in support of genocide. Kirin’s donation was given to General Mya Tun Oo, Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) in a ceremony presided over by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. According to the UN Fact-Finding Mission, the donations were sought “to pursue an objective of changing the demographic landscape on northern Rakhine and keeping Rohingya displaced from Myanmar in a manner that is causing them considerable inhumane suffering.”*
MEHL is a state-owned business run by the Myanmar military and built through grand corruption and the wholesale transfer of state assets to the military. It is a key vehicle the military uses to retain their grip on Myanmar and to maintain the lavish lifestyles of top generals.
Yadanar Maung continues: “MEHL’s over 45 billion-kyat 2Q earnings belong to the people of Myanmar and must be utilised by the government to support the most vulnerable communities. Especially during the Covid19 pandemic and intensifying civil war, these earning should be supporting the well-being of the people. Instead, they are misappropriated by Myanmar’s greedy and corrupt generals. This is unacceptable.”
Note to editors
*The UN Fact-Finding Mission report: The Economic Interests of the Myanmar Military, paragraph 128.
Justice For Myanmar, a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, is calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.
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