The Burmese military, led by Min Aung Hlaing, has arrested many political leaders and human rights activists, including Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, in night time raids. They have declared a state of emergency for one year.
Governments, including the UK have issued statements of concern or condemning the coup, but none have yet announced any practical action.
The top demand of human rights activists in Burma is to sanction military companies. The military has a huge business empire in Burma including everything from beer to toothpaste, mobile phone networks and ports. International companies enter into joint ventures with these companies or provide equipment or services to them.
Sanctions on military companies would stop international companies doing business with the military and stop them making profits which pay for coups and genocide.
Email the British Foreign Secretary now:
Tell Dominic Raab to immediately impose sanctions on military companies so that no British company can do business with the military.
Mark Farmaner, the director of Burma Campaign UK, has told TIME that the military coup in Burma may have been engineered for personal reasons.
“This could be being driven by the personal ambitions of Min Aung Hlaing, who was due to retire in six months,” he told TIME. “He has also used his position to ensure his family have lucrative businesses interests, which he won’t be in a position to protect after retirement.”
Mark Farmaner said that the coup represents a significant change in strategy for the military, but that it will put them under increased pressure: “It is very hard to see how the military can benefit from this coup. They will face protests and renewed international sanctions.”
Burma Campaign UK’s evidence to the British Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee on Xinjiang’s detention camps, and how it relates to the failure of UK policy regarding Burma, has now been published.
BCUK calls for a national strategy for atrocity prevention, a comprehensive law on Universal Jurisdiction, more effective economic sanctions for human rights abusers, and more active work in United Nations bodies.
Indonesia’s Republika reports that Burma Campaign UK has asked Facebook to prevent the Burmese army from using this platform to recruit members, promote their companies’ products and improve their business.
Japanese beer corporation Kirin has said that an assessment of its ties with the Myanmar military was “inconclusive” as to the company’s role in human rights abuses and military operations.
Burma Campaign UK and other rights groups have expressed disappointment in Kirin’s announcement.
“Kirin are making themselves look ridiculous trying to claim they can’t find out if the Burmese military uses its money for military purposes,” said Burma Campaign UK Director Mark Farmaner.
Kirin remains on BCUK’s Dirty List.
The Turkish Anadolu Agency and SonDakika report on Burma Campaign UK’s call for Facebook to stop the Burmese military from using its platform to recruit members and from promoting its businesses on the site.
“Donald Trump has been suspended for inciting violence, but the Burmese military commit violence against civilians every day and are free to use Facebook to recruit soldiers to commit that violence,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK.
“Military owned companies are allowed to use Facebook to promote products, the profits from which fund the military and help fund violations of international law, including genocide of the Rohingya,” he added.
After Facebook suspended US President Donald Trump for inciting violence, Burma Campaign UK has repeated its call to Facebook to stop the military using Facebook to recruit members and promote its businesses.
The Dhaka Tribune and Bangladesh’s Financial Express quote Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK: “Facebook appears to have double standards. If you incite violence in America you get banned from Facebook, but if you recruit people to commit violence in Burma you still get an official Facebook blue tick.”
Japanese beer giant Kirin said an investigation into whether money from its joint ventures with the Burmese military had funded rights abuses was “inconclusive”.
Burma Campaign UK, which has placed Kirin on its “Dirty List” of international companies doing business with the military, denounced the findings of Kirin’s report as “farcical”.
“Kirin are making themselves look ridiculous trying to claim they can’t find out if the Burmese military uses its money for military purposes,” said director Mark Farmaner.
Deloitte’s investigation into the Japanese brewer Kirin’s links to the Burmese military has proved “inconclusive”, the company has said.
Burma Campaign UK today described as “farcical” Kirin’s assertion that after a year-long investigation regarding two joint ventures with the Burmese military, it cannot establish whether the military uses profits for military purposes.
“Kirin are making themselves look ridiculous,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Kirin’s business partner rapes children and faces charges of genocide, and yet Kirin are still delaying the inevitable day when it has to stop doing business with the military.”
Kirin remains on BCUK’s Dirty List.
The government of Bangladesh is angrily rejecting claims it is forcibly moving Rohingya refugees to a remote cyclone-prone island against their will. “We took them all voluntarily,” Bangladesh foreign minister Abdul Momen told Sky News.
But Mark Farmaner from Burma Campaign UK told Sky News that was untrue. “These people do not want to go there,” he said. “They want to stay in the refugee camps where they have support systems, where they have managed to establish some forms of informal education, where they have communities around after they being through such a traumatic experience.”