About the company
Yatai Group is a Chinese conglomerate involved in a wide range of business activities. In Burma it has partnered with the Border Guard Force, formerly known as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, in the development of Shwe Koko in Karen state, known locally as China Town.
The Border Guard Force (BGF) are effectively part of the Burmese Army, under their control and fighting side by side, but allowed to control some areas of Karen State for business purposes.
BGF has been responsible for human rights violations that meet the criteria of war crimes and crimes against humanity when fighting alongside the Burmese military attacking ethnic Karen civilians and areas under the control of the Karen National Union. In 2019 BGF forces were fighting alongside the Burmese Army in Rakhine State.
In addition to the human rights record of Yatai Group’s partner the BGF/Burmese Army, the development project is itself linked to human rights violations with farmers and others having land confiscated without compensation. There is no transparency or consultation in the development of the project.
Chairman, Yatai Group
Foreign Development in Myanmar Sparks Concern Over Transparency, Regulation – Steve Stanford, Voice of America, 23rd January 2019
New city project by Chinese firm raises hackles in Kayin, Naw Betty Han, Myanmar Times 18th September 2018
Inside the DKBA, Karen Human Rights Group, 31st March 1996
Notified 8th August 2019
The Dirty List names international companies doing business with the military in Burma. The list also includes international companies involved in projects where there are human rights violations or environmental destruction.
In September 2018, the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar, which has been investigating human rights violations in the country, stated:
“The actions of the Tatmadaw (Burmese military) in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States, in particular in the context of the ‘clearance operations’ in northern Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017, have so seriously violated international law that any engagement in any form with the Tatmadaw, its current leadership, and its businesses, is indefensible.”