April 28, 2021, Myanmar: Today is the first anniversary of Justice For Myanmar, launched on April 28, 2020 to campaign against the Myanmar military’s extensive business interests and systemic corruption, which enable them to commit crimes against Myanmar people. The campaign was initiated by a covert group of activists working for the protection of rights, equality, justice and accountability. Justice For Myanmar is part of a wider movement striving for a better future for Myanmar, where there is federal democracy, sustainable peace and the military is divested from the economy, fully under civilian control.
The domestic campaign targeting the military’s businesses has grown exponentially since the illegal Feb. 1, 2021 coup, as military products symbolise the military’s violent oppression, greed and corruption. A large-scale boycott against items like Mytel SIM cards and Myanmar Beer has caused an unparalleled blow to the military’s bottom line.
The movement against the military’s business networks has spread across the world, and the military is losing its profits. Activists have ramped up campaigns targeting nodes in the military’s business networks, while journalists from around the world have independently exposed the military’s business interests in impactful and detailed investigations.
The pressure has taken a toll on businesses that are linked to the military. Since the coup,
• Targeted sanctions have been imposed on MEHL, MEC, junta leaders and their family businesses by US, UK and EU.
• Kirin Holdings and POSCO C&C have announced an end to their joint ventures with the military.
• Singapore investor Lim Kaling has exited from the military’s tobacco monopoly.
• The Singapore Stock Exchange took regulatory action against a real estate developer leasing land from the army.
• Électricité de France and Woodside Energy have suspended business with the junta.
• Coda Payments and Fortumo, direct carrier billing businesses, cut ties with Mytel.
• The Myanmar junta has been restricted from accessing a Japanese micro-satellite.
• Adani Ports has been removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
• Banks and pension funds in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are taking action against their military-linked investments.
Justice For Myanmar spokesperson Yadanar Maung says: “There’s been a fierce and unprecedented move to end military rule that has exploded since the coup, with people across Myanmar risking their lives and livelihoods for a better future, free from military violence and oppression. Despite the terror campaign waged by this military junta against the people of Myanmar, the people will not be silenced or stopped. We honour those whose lives have been robbed, who have sacrificed for this cause, including activists, ethnic freedom fighters, whistle-blowers, public and private sectors workers, and journalists. Together, we must and will dismantle the military cartel. Removing the Myanmar military from business is imperative to establish a federal democracy. The military must be pushed back to the barracks where they belong.”
The work of Justice For Myanmar follows the 2019 United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar report, The Economic Interests of the Myanmar Military, which recommended that businesses cut all financial ties with the Myanmar military. Justice For Myanmar aims to ensure that the UN FFM’s recommendations are implemented.
Note to editors
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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