We must stop the flow of money to MOGE

Stop funding MOGE

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, organized citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

You proved that right last week when you successfully pressed luxury jeweller Harry Winston to stop buying gems from Myanmar. This week, let’s stay focused on the oil companies Chevron, TotalEnergies, and POSCO. Together, we can stop the funding to MOGE.

Recently leaked documents published by Justice for Myanmar provide conclusive evidence that Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is personally concerned that Myanmar’s oil and gas revenues (MOGE) keep flowing to the junta.

The Myanmar military receives about half of its funding from oil and gas revenues. Cutting this flow of blood money from the oil companies Chevron, Total, and Posco is crucial to ending the army’s reign of terror. This is also fundamental to what No Business with Genocide strives to do.

If you have already signed this petition to Chevron demanding it stop funding MOGE and the Myanmar military.

Please follow up by posting protest messages on the social media of Chevron and Total. Here’s a sample protest message for you to adapt and post.

I will boycott you until you stop the flow of money from the Yadana Project in Myanmar to the Burmese military junta.

Like their Facebook pages and post protest messages

Let’s make a point of posting on the social media of Chevron and TotalEnergies every day until they stop funding the Myanmar military.

You did it! Harry Winston stops selling Burmese Rubies

Harry Winston

Under pressure, Harry Winston announces it will no longer sell #GenocideGems

International Campaign for the Rohingya applauds the announcement today by luxury jeweler Harry Winston that it will stop buying gems that originate from Myanmar (Burma). 

In a post to its social media, Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) announced today that it “will no longer source gemstones from its suppliers that have Burmese origins, regardless of their importation dates.” 

Harry Winston currently sells two jewelry pieces with gems originally described by the jeweler as Burmese. 

Harry Winston announced its decision on the day when International Campaign for the Rohingya and No Business With Genocide delivered to Harry Winston’s flagship New York city store a petition with over 25 thousand signers that demanded the jeweler stop buying Burmese origin gems that profit the Myanmar military

“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 buy Burmese gems for their collections,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of International Campaign for the Rohingya and Director of No Business With Genocide. 

The United Nations-mandated International Independent Fact-Finding Mission urged the international community to “sever ties with Myanmar’s military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on” as “any foreign business activity involving the Tatmadaw (military) and its conglomerates MEHL and MEC poses a high risk of contributing to, or being linked to, violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. At a minimum, these foreign companies are contributing to supporting the Tatmadaw’s financial capacity.” 

Harry Winston item featuring Burmese gems 

Dancing Flames Necklace” 

Original description: “A festival of fascinating colors, it symbolizes fiery passion with a 5.02 carat sugar loaf Burmese ruby with 11 round rubies weighing a total of approximately 3.72 carats.” 

Winston Promise Pendant” 

Original description: “An inspiring sign of commitment, a heart-shaped diamond pendant formed of 32 baguette and 6 pear-shaped colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 3.73 carats is crowned with a 1.39 carat heart-shaped Burmese ruby.  

Facebook: Ban the Myanmar Military

Facebook

It’s long past time for Facebook to take down the pages of Myanmar military companies.

These military-owned companies help fund the army and the atrocities it commits. And the social media giant continues to allow the Burmese military to use its accounts to spread hate speech, recruit soldiers, and build its lucrative business empire.

Please click here to demand that Facebook delete the Myanmar military’s accounts

Since the military coup on 1st February, 30 countries have imposed sanctions on Myanmar military companies because of the role they play in funding the military.

“So far genocide, crimes against humanity, and a military coup have not been enough to persuade Facebook that allowing the military to use it to make money is a bad idea,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK.

Take action to stop the Myanmar military from making money off Facebook

Our pressure on corporations works. You successfully pressed Western Union and Kirin to end their business partnerships with the Burmese military. By sharing our petitions widely, we can build our movement to end the Myanmar military’s corrupt and brutal rule.

Please sign – and share – our petition to demand Facebook delete the Myanmar military.

Learn more about what’s happening to the Chin here.

If you have been following us, you know that we have been working hard to get the U.S. Congress to produce and pass the #BurmaBill. Your efforts made that happen! You can learn more about the bill here.

You did it; US to sanction Myanmar military

It’s now Day 11 of the 2/1/21 Myanmar coup.  

Thank you for – in your thousands! – signing our petitions, turning up for protests, contacting your elected representatives, and, all the while, sharing everything you do on social media. Because of your actions, US President Joe Biden announced yesterday that the US will impose sanctions on the Myanmar military.

Please take a moment to savor your significant victory. You are an important part of a growing global movement of people just like you. Let’s continue to do all that we can to help the young people of Myanmar as they face down the military in the streets.

We are still a trigger-point away from Burmese soldiers brutally cracking down on the pro-democracy demonstrators. In 1988, and again in 2007, the Myanmar military fired on peaceful protestors killing thousands. Thus far it appears our acts of solidarity  are helping; the Myanmar security forces have been relatively restrained.

Today, let’s all take three actions to follow the Myanmar military’s money and cut it off.

Action #1: 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.

Chevron is the largest U.S. corporate investor in Burma (Myanmar). In partnership with Total of France and the Burmese government-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Chevron owns the Yadana gas field and pipeline crossing Karen State. In March 2015, Chevron entered into an additional production sharing contract with MOGE to explore in the Rakhine Basin off the coast of Rakhine State, the site of the Rohingya genocide.

Action #2: 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 #3. 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 brewery, 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.

Harry Winston item featuring Burmese gems

Ruby and Diamond ring by Harry Winston

“A 20.25 carat oval-shaped Burmese ruby center stone with 28 round brilliant diamonds weighing a total of approximately 4.64 carats, set in platinum.”

For Further Reading:

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

How Oil and Gas Majors Bankroll the Myanmar Military Regime,” Justice For Myanmar, 8 February 2021

“Stakeholders press energy companies doing business with Myanmar to address Rohingya crisis,” International Campaign for the Rohingya blog, October 23, 2017

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

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

Kirin Ends Partnership With Myanmar Military After the Army’s Genocide and Coup D’Etat

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: February 5th, 2021

In the wake of past genocide against the Rohingya, ongoing mass atrocities against other ethnic minorities, and recent army coup d’etat, the Myanmar military finally stepped too far for its business partner, Kirin Holdings of Japan.

Kirin announced today that it would end its business partnerships with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited, a Myanmar military-owned conglomerate.

The following quote can be attributed to Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya.

“Kirin has finally acknowledged its grievious mistake in choosing to do business with a wholly-owned subsidiary of a brutal military with over a half a century of dictatorial rule, brutal civil war, venal corruption, and mass atrocities, including genocide.” 

“We call on corporations worldwide to cut all business ties with Myanmar military-owned and controlled companies. Facebook must suspend the accounts of the Myanmar military as the army recruits its soldiers and conducts its business through the social platform. Jewelers such as Harry Winston, owned by Swatch of Switzerland, must stop buying Burmese “genocide gems,” whose trade is dominated by the Myanmar military and a huge source of the army’s revenues.”

“We call on all governments to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its actions through sanctions against Myanmar military leaders, the army’s extensive business empire, and the military’s business cronies. We specifically call on U.S. President to issue an executive order restoring U.S. sanctions under the JADE Act.”

For a full details of the economic interests of the Myanmar military and army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, read Justice For Myanmar’s recent report “Who Profits From a Coup? The Power and Greed of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.”

Kirin’s statement of February 5th, 2021

Contact:

Simon Billenness

Executive Director

International Campaign for the Rohingya

M: (617) 596-6158

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

www.rohingyacampaign.org