April 13, 2021

Myanmar military cracks down; what you can do.

It’s night in Myanmar now and the military is cracking down violently. In Myitkyina in Kachin State, soldiers have fired on pro-democracy protesters. All over Myanmar, the military has shut down the Internet and deployed armored vehicles apparently for use in mass arrests.

Today, please strike back at this military crackdown by taking the following five actions.

Action #1: Stay Informed

Keep track of breaking news in Myanmar by following our Twitter: @rohingya_icr.  Follow the news from inside Myanmar on Twitter using these hashags: #CivilDisobedienceMovement #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #JusticeForMyanmar

Excellent coverage from inside Myanmar is also available daily from Frontier Myanmar. Read their website and sign up for their daily emails as long as the military allows them to stay open.

Action #2. Lobby Your Government

Wherever you live, please demand that the U.S. Administration step up its tough and targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military.

Click here to urge U.S. President Joe Biden impose further tough and targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military.

If you have already signed the petition, share it with your friends worldwide. If so, please email, message, or text ten or more of your friends to ask them to join you. Send them this short link to the petition: http://bit.ly/BidenSanctionMyanmar

Action #3: Stop the flow of oil and gas money to the military

We join Justice For Myanmar in calling for all corporations to immediately stop bankrolling the Myanmar military. The people of Myanmar have mobilized against the dictatorship through a national campaign of civil disobedience and boycotts against military-owned companies. We must back up the peoples of Myanmar in their struggle.

Sign – and share – our petition demanding that Chevron stop bankrolling the Myanmar military.

As Myanmar’s generals look for revenues to prop up their new dictatorship following the February 1 coup, there’s one source of money they can count on: natural gas projects backed by foreign investors including Chevron, France’s Total, South Korea’s Posco, China’s CNOOC, Australia’s Woodbridge, and Malaysia’s Petronas. The Myanmar regime earns close to US$1 billion a year from natural gas sales.

Much of this money is not paid directly from oil companies to the government. It flows through Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a state-owned enterprise with deep links to the military’s business empire. Alarmingly, the recent military coup places MOGE and the rest of the government under direct military control.

Action #4: End the Myanmar military’s trade in #GenocideGems

Tell luxury jeweller Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) to stop selling jewellery with Burmese #GenocideGems.

For decades, Myanmar’s military has committed numerous war crimes against ethnic minorities in Burma including the Karen, Shan, and Kachin. The military has systematically burned down villages, gang-raped women and girls, and killed those who resist. Moreover, Myanmar now stands at the International Court of Justice on charges of genocide against the Rohingya. Together, we can demand that Jewellery retailers, such as Harry Winston, stop buying Burmese gems that help fund the military’s atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar.

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. The military dominates the gemstone industry in Myanmar. Its extensive commercial interests in gemstone extraction and trade mean that the military profits when high-end jewelry retailers – like Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) – buy Burmese gems for their collections.

Action #5. Make a gift to build our movement

We can and must build our pressure on Myanmar’s military. Your actions have moved your governments to pass tough sanctions and successfully pressed companies, such as Western Union, online jeweler Angara, and Kirin Brewing, to end their business partnerships with the Burmese military.

Your gifts will help us keep building the campaigns and tools that we need to take effective action together. Please click here to make a gift of $30, $60, $120, $250, or more.

Together, we can build our movement to end the Myanmar military’s corrupt and brutal rule.Thank you so much,Simon Billenness, Executive Director

For the International Campaign for the Rohingya: Debbie Stothard, Jack Rendler, J. Mark Brinkmoeller, Joseph K. Grieboski, Simran Stuelpnagel, Michael DeLong, and Alyson Chadwick.

For Further Reading:

Subscribe to Frontier Myanmar’s excellent daily coverage from inside the country.

Sanction Myanmar Military, Not Myanmar People,” Justice For Myanmar and Burma Campaign UK, 5 February 2021

How to squeeze Myanmar’s military without hurting its people,” Southeast Asia Globe, 12 February 2021

Who Profits From a Coup? The Power and Greed of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing,” Justice For Myanmar, January 2021

“Dirty List” of companies doing business with the Myanmar military, Burma Campaign UK

Military Ltd,” Amnesty International, September 2020

Will Myanmar’s ‘Genocide Gems’ Become the New Blood Diamonds?,” BusinessWeek,  October 17, 2018

“No Genocide Gems! Burmese Military Takes a Hit From Citizens Sanctions,” International Campaign for the Rohingya blog