Sign up to call on Total, Petronas, POSCO, Chevron, PTT, Myanmar Wanbao, Adani, and Myanmar Metals Ltd. to divest their investments and cut other financial and corporate linkages with the Tatmadaw’s MEHL, MEC, and MOGE front corporations.
Strategically, we are calling for the following actions:
As an urgent pivotal action, we, are calling on Total, Petronas, POSCO, Chevron, PTT, Myanmar Wanbao, Adani, and Myanmar Metals Ltd. to divest their investments and cut other financial and corporate linkages with the Tatmadaw’s MEHL, MEC, and MOGE front corporations.
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Since the unlawful military coup in Burma (Myanmar) on February 1, the Tatmadaw military regime has killed more than 1000 protesters throughout the country, including more than 80 children . Nearly 6000 democracy activists are currently detained or sentenced, including democratically-elected President U Win Myint, State-counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, civil society leaders, journalists and celebrities. UNOCHA estimates that military airstrikes and offensives since the coup have displaced more than 200,000 civilians in Burma’s ethnic states.
As the Tatmadaw military regime continues to brutalize and terrorize protesters, international oil companies, which are the largest source of revenue to the government, continue to fuel their operations. Revenues from oil and gas and other mining projects make up 35% of Burma’s official export revenues. It has used revenue from extractives to buy weapons to kill its own people — including fighter jets mostly from China and Russia.
If they succeed, the Tatmadaw will control all oil and gas revenues in the country, enabling increased and prolonged brutality and repression. The whole world should be concerned with corruption, human rights abuses, and environmental destruction resulting from oil, gas and mining projects that are instrumental to the success of the Tatmadaw.
According to the OHCHR, 14 foreign companies have joint ventures, and at least 44 foreign companies have other forms of commercial ties with Tatmadaw affiliated businesses . Companies from China, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Seychelles, South Korea, Viet Nam and Singapore have joint ventures with Tatmadaw-controlled Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (MEHL) or Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) companies .
Although the US and the European Union have placed sanctions against these directly military-owned companies, high-ranking military officials and a few state-owned entities, they have thus far not sanctioned the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
The 100% state-owned MOGE is the only company authorized to partner with foreign companies for oil and gas operations in Burma. MOGE, the country’s biggest money-maker, is responsible for signing contracts worth billions of dollars in gas production revenue .
In addition to Burma’s gas export revenue, The China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), which operates the controversial dual China-Burma oil and gas pipeline, pays the Burma government at least US $33 million every year for the oil and gas pipeline transit fees and right of way .
Every year, international oil companies provide over US$1 billion to the Tatmadaw regime by exporting fossil gas to Thailand and China from four offshore gas projects, constituting the regime’s single largest source of export income. The offshore projects and related pipeline companies are operated by Total from France (Yadana), Petronas from Malaysia (Yetagun), POSCO from South Korea (Shwe), PTTEP from Thailand (Zawtika), and CNPC from China (Shwe pipelines) (See Annex 1).
The mining industry also funds the Tatmadaw as part of the extractive sector, including the estimated US$31-billion Jade mining industry . Apart from being environmentally destructive, they also directly contribute to human rights abuses, facilitation of weapons deals, and illicit trade. These companies include the Chinese joint venture Myanmar Wanbao, and the Australian government-backed Adani Group from India (See Annex 2).
Strategically, we are calling for the following actions:
Demonstrators, civil society, the National Unity Government and ethnic political organisations of Burma call on international mining, oil and gas companies to end all communication with the Burma military regime.
As an urgent pivotal action, we, the undersigned, are calling on Total, Petronas, POSCO, Chevron, PTT, Myanmar Wanbao, Adani, and Myanmar Metals Ltd. to divest their investments and cut other financial and corporate linkages with the Tatmadaw’s MEHL, MEC, and MOGE front corporations.
The four main sites in Myanmar for offshore gas extraction are Yadana, Yetagun Zawtika, and Shwe. Yadana and Yetagun are located in the Andaman Sea. The Shwe natural gas project includes, Shwe Phyu and Mya fields located offshore Rakhine State in blocks A-1 and A-3 of the Bay of Bengal. The Zawtika sites include the development of the Zawtika, Kakonna, and Gawthaka fields, located in blocks M9 and M11 of the Gulf of Martaban.
Total (France) and US Chevron/Unocal (US)
Petroleum Authority of Thailand Exploration and Production, PTTEP, (Thailand)
Petronal/PC Myanmar (Malaysia/Hong Kong)
POSCO (South Korea)
Myanmar’s prominent mineral resources include copper, gold, lead, zinc, silver, tin, and nickel. Additionally, over 90% of the world’s jade is mined in the country, with the most valuable deposits in Kachin Hills. Overall, exploration is still lucrative for investors including foreign ones that aim to get joint ventures.
In 2011, Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned arms manufacturer China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), formed a partnership with MEHL to take over operations under the joint venture Myanmar Wanbao . The joint venture operates at Myanmar’s two largest two copper mines in Sagaing State.
The India-based Adani Group is paying up to $US52 million ($68.1 million) to MEC . They also have a US$290 million agreement with MEC for a 50-year lease to build a port near Yangon  on top of a US$2.5 million investment from the Australian government’s Future Fund .
Ruby and jade mining in the Kachin and Shan states are also notable because of illicit trade backed by Chinese investors [20, 21]. The jade industry by itself is worth more than US$30 billion, nearly half of Myanmar’s GDP in 2014 . This has led to Tatmadaw-incited international human rights violations in conflict-affected areas in Kachin State. The 2019 OHCHR mission reports that forced labour was used to increase mining revenue while the mining areas have been used as staging grounds for abductions, forced labour, sexual violence and murder.
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