Myanmar Times reports that Western Union has terminated its contract with the Tatmadaw-owned Myawaddy Bank, becoming the latest foreign company to disassociate itself from military-associated companies.
“This is a significant step forward in our campaign to stop international companies funding genocide and crimes against humanity in Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK.
The Turkish Anadolu Agency reports that leading global money transfer service Western Union has stopped using a military-owned bank as one of its agents in Burma.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, said that Western Union is the biggest company so far to end a business relationship with a military-owned company.
“This move will put more pressure on other companies to also stop doing business with the military,” he told Anadolu Agency. “Companies doing business with the military are helping to pay for genocide of the Rohingya and other human rights violations.”
The TV channel Rohingya Vision interviewed Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, following Western Union’s decision to drop military Myawaddy Bank as its agent as a result of BCUK’s Dirty List campaign.
Frontier Myanmar report in their new daily email briefing that Burma Campaign UK claimed victory when Western Union dropped its partnership with the military-affiliated Myawaddy Bank, after a joint pressure campaign with the International Campaign for the Rohingya.
BCUK said Western Union told it in an email: “Western Union has ended its contract with Myawaddy Bank, effective immediately.”
The Irrawaddy reports that Western Union, a US-based global financial transfer service, has cut ties with the military-owned Myawaddy Bank after human rights organizations called on the company to sever its links in light of accusations that the military is responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“Western Union deserve credit for doing the right thing. They are the biggest company so far to cut their business ties to the military,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK. BCUK has taken Western Union off its Dirty List of companies that do business with the military.
Western Union Drops Military Myawaddy Bank As Its Agent
Western Union is the latest company to be removed from our ‘Dirty List’ following confirmation that they have stopped using the military-owned Myawaddy Bank as one of their agents in Burma.
They are the biggest company so far to cut their business ties to the military. This is a significant step forward in our campaign to stop international companies funding genocide and crimes against humanity in Burma.
We will be stepping up pressure on other companies on our ‘Dirty List’
Thank you to everyone who took part in the campaign.
The Financial Times reports that Kirin is to review its operations in Burma after the Japanese brewer’s partnership with a military-linked business drew fierce criticism from human rights groups, highlighting the growing reputational risks faced by multinationals doing business in Burma.
Kirin is on Burma Campaign UK’s “Dirty List” of companies with alleged links to the military.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, accused Aung San Suu Kyi of “barefaced lying” during her testimony and said her civilian government was guilty of genocide.
“Although she might be taking comfort that the country’s Buddhist majority is standing behind her on this case, she is actually polarising the country by letting other ethnic minority groups see her defend the crimes of the military that have persecuted them too,” said Mark Farmaner. He said Aung San Suu Kyi was leading the country “down a dangerous and tragic path”.
As Aung San Suu Kyi personally appeared at the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ highest court, to defend her country from charges of genocide, Time calls it a powerful reminder of how far the former human rights icon has fallen from grace in the eyes of the West.
“There was a time when Aung San Suu Kyi spoke with moral authority and the world would listen, but that time has long gone,” says Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK.
The employee-shareholders of New Belgium Brewing, one of the largest independent craft beer breweries in the US, are being urged to vote against a proposed takeover by Japanese beverage giant Kirin.
Activists are hoping the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government for genocide at the International Court of Justice will increase the pressure on international businesses like Kirin to sever ties with the Burmese military.
“The profits are being pumped back into the military, helping to fund their operations,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, which has published a Dirty List of about 80 companies linked to the military, including Kirin. “Kirin are literally helping to fund genocide.”