The British government is reportedly pressuring Myanmar’s former ambassador to leave his official London residence a year after he was ousted by the military regime for criticising the coup, reports the Telegraph.
Mark Farmaner, the director of Burma Campaign UK, said that his past behaviour “should not detract from the fact that he is the legitimately appointed ambassador for Myanmar and has a right to stay in the residence and the Embassy.”
A Myanmar junta court sentenced prominent democracy activist Ko Mya Aye to two years’ imprisonment under hate speech charges, reports the Irrawaddy.
Ko Mya Aye, the former 88 Generation student leader and now a Federal Democratic Force leader, was among the first people whose homes were surrounded and detained at gunpoint on February 1, 2021, during the coup. He has been under detention in Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison ever since and is not receiving proper medical treatment. U Mya Aye told the court that he was arrested without any reason and condemned the unfair trials. The sentence was handed down on his 56th birthday.
“As family members, we prepared for any news but today I felt anger and sadness,” his daughter Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, senior advocacy officer at Burma Campaign UK, posted on Facebook.
Hundreds of ESG funds run by some of the world’s biggest money managers have a combined $13.4 billion stake in companies that supply weapons and technology to the Myanmar military, reports Yahoo!finance.
A new report by Inclusive Development International and ALTSEAN-Burma found 344 funds that had links with the military as of November. The funds, which say they take into account environmental, social and governance risks, have investments across 33 companies that Burma Campaign UK, Justice for Myanmar and the UN say provided weapons, communications and technologies to the military.
As the US, European Union and others hit Russia with crippling economic sanctions in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reports that they are facing demands to go hard against another regime: Myanmar’s military junta.
In the past year, Washington and Brussels have taken steps to cut off army leaders and their businesses from the global financial system. But the junta has continued its campaign of airstrikes, arrests and custodial torture to counter armed resistance. Now, the coup’s opponents are pushing for a ban on the sale of jet fuel to Myanmar: ‘If the jets can’t fly, they can’t bomb’.
Burma Campaign UK has added 28 more companies to the ‘Dirty List’ of companies linked to the military, human rights violations, or environmental destruction in Myanmar, reports Mizzima. The additions mean there are now 116 companies on the list.
“Even genocide and a military coup has not been enough to persuade these companies to cut their links to the Burmese military,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The Burmese military has committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, doing any form of business with them is completely unacceptable. The Dirty List exposes the role companies all over the world are playing in helping to finance the military and supply it with arms.”
55 British Parliamentarians from nine different political parties and Independent MPs have joined the call for aviation fuel sanctions against the Burmese military, reports Mizzima.
“The British government has led on sanctions since the coup, systematically identifying sources of revenue for the Burmese military and introducing targeted sanctions. Sanctions now need to be introduced on Burmese companies that supply aviation fuel to the military and British companies involved in any aspect of the supply of aviation fuel, including shipping, insurance and services,” said Karin Valtersson, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK.
When junta supporters and the Myanmar military were removed from Facebook after last year’s coup, they switched to the less regulated Telegram social network, which is based in Russia, reports Radio Free Asia.
Military authorities now use Telegram both to disseminate junta propaganda and for intelligence from supporters who list the profiles, activities and locations of pro-democracy celebrities, anti-junta activists, journalists and rights activists. Authorities have come to rely on the online information to help them plan crackdowns on anti-junta activists nationwide.
Burma Campaign UK added Telegram to its blacklist of businesses over the links to the Myanmar military, saying that the company allows military propagandists to use its platform and allows the spread of hate speech.
Serbia has continued to supply arms to the Myanmar military since the coup, reports the Irrawaddy, despite the fact that those weapons are being used to attack and kill civilians, including children.
Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, identified Serbia, along with China and Russia, as UN member states that are continuing to sell arms to the junta.
“By supplying arms to the Burmese military, Serbia is complicit in violations of international law,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The Serbian government knows that the weapons it supplies to the Burmese military are used against civilians, with children and babies being injured and killed.”
Human rights advocates are urging governments to impose sanctions against supplying aviation fuel to Myanmar as its security forces carry out air strikes against opponents of the army-led administration, reports the Independent.
Burma Campaign UK said it is calling for sanctions on Myanmar companies involved in supplying jet fuel to the military and on foreign companies to prevent their involvement in “any aspect” of supplying aviation fuel to the country, including insurance and other support services.
The EU became the first to impose sanctions on the state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), one of the junta’s largest cash-cows, reports Germany’s Deutsche Welle.
Mark Farmaner, the director of Burma Campaign UK, told DW that “one of the biggest impacts of these EU sanctions may be that they embarrass the US into finally taking action on gas revenue to the military.”
However, the intermediary banks that collect oil and gas revenue have not been sanctioned by the EU.
“France and the EU need to clarify exactly how exemptions in the sanctions on MOGE will be applied and commit that they will not allow any financial or share transfers, which will benefit the military,” Mark Farmaner told DW. “These sanctions should also impact European companies involved in behind the scenes services to MOGE, including insurance.”