International Campaign for the Rohingya Applauds Dayton City Commission for Passage of World’s First End Genocide Resolution

International Campaign for the Rohingya Applauds Dayton City Commission for Passage of World’s First End Genocide Resolution

For Immediate Release: December 30th, 2020

The International Campaign for the Rohingya applauds the Commission of the City of Dayton for its unanimous passage of world’s first municipal resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Matt Joseph, both condemning genocide and promoting its use of its powers of procurement and investment to press corporations to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities

J. Mark Brinkmoeller, Board Member, International Campaign for the Rohingya

“As a proud Daytonian, I’m grateful that the City of Dayton Commission unanimously passed the Dayton End Genocide Resolution. It is in line with Dayton’s values and very appropriate given that this is the anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords that helped to secure peace and an end to genocide in Bosnia.  International Campaign for the Rohingya looks forward to working with other communities, cities, and states inspired by Dayton’s example to take similar action to help end genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities.

Simon Billenness, Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya

 “We welcome the City of Dayton for its intention to use its influence in the markets for goods, services, and capital to press companies to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities. We hope that the City of Dayton’s principled action will cause corporations to reconsider doing business with the government and military of Burma (Myanmar). We hope that this pressure will help end Myanmar’s genocide of the Rohingya people and its mass atrocities against other ethnic minorities in Burma.”

Matt Joseph, Commissioner, City of Dayton (Ohio)

“I am proud to bring this informal resolution denouncing genocide up for consideration.  As a welcoming city, Dayton has many residents who have survived genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other places around the world.  In their honor, and in memory of their loved ones, the Dayton End Genocide Resolution states that we not only denounce genocide, but will actively educate our residents about it, and work to ensure that companies with which we do business also commit to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities.  This imperative takes on a greater meaning for us, since this is the 25th year since the warring parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to agreement at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here, ending that genocide.​”

Marium Husain, Coordinator, Ohio No Business With Genocide

 “We applaud the City of Dayton for considering this Dayton End Genocide Resolution. Governments want and need corporate investment and trade. But no government can expect to do business as usual if it engages in genocide, crimes against humanity, or other mass atrocities. As individuals, we can deny corporations our investment and our purchases until they refuse to support governments that engage in these grave abuses of human rights. We have an opportunity to redirect our money to local companies. As a community, we can also encourage our local and state governments to similarly use our tax dollars to press companies to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, or other mass atrocities.”

Contact:

Simon Billenness

Executive Director

International Campaign for the Rohingya

M: (617) 596-6158

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org www.rohingyacampaign.org

ABOUT NO BUSINESS WITH GENOCIDE

The No Business With Genocide is a coalition-led campaign designed to build the movement to end genocide permanently worldwide. The No Business With Genocide campaign is built around the simple proposition that corporations should refrain or withdraw from doing business with regimes that engage in genocide and/or crimes against humanity. This campaign is part of the movement to end genocide and crimes against humanity by building a grassroots global constituency willing and able to put effective and timely political and economic pressure on governments that engage in or consider committing genocide and/or mass atrocities.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ROHINGYA

The International Campaign for the Rohingya advocates and amplifies the voice of the Rohingya with international organizations, governments, corporations, and civil society. Its mission is to help the Rohingya secure peace, security, and their rights wherever they reside. As a member of the “No Business With Genocide” campaign, International Campaign for the Rohingya presses corporations to speak out to end the genocide of the Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar).

About End Genocide Laws and Resolutions

During the American Revolution, town meetings adopted resolutions calling for a boycott of British-made goods. The Boston Tea Party seized on the spirit of these resolutions through its historic act of dumping British tea in Boston Harbor. This revolutionary campaign is captured in T.H. Breen’s book “The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence.”It was in part through this “boycott British” campaign that the American colonies united and rose up to secure their independence.

City and state “End Genocide” laws build on this American tradition. These laws follow in the footsteps of other American campaigns and movements. The American abolitionist movement worked with local and state governments on measures to help end slavery. Starting in the 1950s, the movements for civil rights and women’s equality successful lobbied for municipal, county, and state preferences and requirements for certain contractors to develop plans to subcontract to minority and women-owned businesses.

In the 1980s, the anti-apartheid movement forced corporations to divest from South Africa under pressure from municipal and state laws. In the 1990s, over 100 corporations withdrew from Burma (Myanmar) after Massachusetts and over 20 cities passed laws effectively boycotting companies doing business in the country. In the 2000s, the Save Darfur campaign mobilized pressure on oil companies in Sudan through stock divestment laws. Today, the fossil fuel divestment campaign is succeeding in mobilizing state and local government to tackle climate change.

By passing an end genocide resolution or law, a city, county, or state can express its citizens’ values in its spending and investment of taxpayer dollars as an actor in the marketplace for goods, services, and capital. In so doing, the city or state will also act in solidarity with people at risk of genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities.

For more information, read “End Genocide, Starting With Your Hometown.

Dayton City Commission to Vote on World’s First End Genocide Resolution

Press Advisory: December 30th, 2020

Tonight, Dayton (Ohio) City Commissioner Matt Joseph will introduce a world’s first municipal resolution condemning genocide and other crimes against humanity. This Dayton End Genocide Resolution also affirms the City of Dayton’s duty to educate about and help end genocide and other crimes against humanity. The resolution further recognizes the role that local communities and government can take to promote ethical procurement and ethical investment in accordance with their humanitarian values.

The City of Dayton commissioners will meet to consider the Dayton End Genocide Resolution at their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, December 30th, at 6pm US EST.

The meeting may be viewed live online at: www.daytonohio.gov/govtv

Matt Joseph, Commissioner, City of Dayton (Ohio)

“I am proud to bring this informal resolution denouncing genocide up for consideration.  As a welcoming city, Dayton have many residents who have survived genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other places around the world.  In their honor, and in memory of their loved ones, the Dayton End Genocide Resolution states that we not only denounce genocide, but will actively educate our residents about it, and work to ensure that companies with which we do business also commit to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities.  This imperative takes on a greater meaning for us, since this is the 25th year since the warring parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to agreement at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here, ending that genocide.​”

Marium Husain, Coordinator, Ohio No Business With Genocide

 “We applaud the City of Dayton for considering this Dayton End Genocide Resolution. Governments want and need corporate investment and trade. But no government can expect to do business as usual if it engages in genocide, crimes against humanity, or other mass atrocities. As individuals, we can deny corporations our investment and our purchases until they refuse to support governments that engage in these grave abuses of human rights. We have an opportunity to redirect our money to local companies. As a community, we can also encourage our local and state governments to similarly use our tax dollars to press companies to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, or other mass atrocities.”

Simon Billenness, Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya

 “We welcome the City of Dayton for its consideration of the Dayton End Genocide Resolution. We appreciate the City of Dayton for its intention to use its influence in the markets for goods, services, and capital to press companies to avoid complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities. We hope that the City of Dayton’s principled action will cause corporations to reconsider doing business with the government and military of Burma (Myanmar). We hope that this pressure will help end Myanmar’s genocide of the Rohingya people and its mass atrocities against other ethnic minorities in Burma.”

Contacts:

Bryan Taulbee

Public Affairs Specialist – Office of Communications and Public Affairs

City of Dayton (Ohio)

M: (937) 603-9753

Bryan.Taulbee@daytonohio.govhttp://daytonohio.gov

Marium Husain

CoordinatorOhio No Business With Genocide

mariumhn@gmail.com

https://actionnetwork.org/groups/no-business-with-genocide

Simon Billenness

Executive Director

International Campaign for the Rohingya

M: (617) 596-6158

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

www.rohingyacampaign.org

ABOUT NO BUSINESS WITH GENOCIDE

The No Business With Genocide is a coalition-led campaign designed to build the movement to end genocide permanently worldwide. The No Business With Genocide campaign is built around the simple proposition that corporations should refrain or withdraw from doing business with regimes that engage in genocide and/or crimes against humanity. This campaign is part of the movement to end genocide and crimes against humanity by building a grassroots global constituency willing and able to put effective and timely political and economic pressure on governments that engage in or consider committing genocide and/or mass atrocities.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE ROHINGYA

The International Campaign for the Rohingya advocates and amplifies the voice of the Rohingya with international organizations, governments, corporations, and civil society. Its mission is to help the Rohingya secure peace, security, and their rights wherever they reside. As a member of the “No Business With Genocide” campaign, International Campaign for the Rohingya presses corporations to speak out to end the genocide of the Rohingya in Burma (Myanmar).

About End Genocide Laws and Resolutions

During the American Revolution, town meetings adopted resolutions calling for a boycott of British-made goods. The Boston Tea Party seized on the spirit of these resolutions through its historic act of dumping British tea in Boston Harbor. This revolutionary campaign is captured in T.H. Breen’s book “The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence.”It was in part through this “boycott British” campaign that the American colonies united and rose up to secure their independence.

City and state “End Genocide” laws build on this American tradition. These laws follow in the footsteps of other American campaigns and movements. The American abolitionist movement worked with local and state governments on measures to help end slavery. Starting in the 1950s, the movements for civil rights and women’s equality successful lobbied for municipal, county, and state preferences and requirements for certain contractors to develop plans to subcontract to minority and women-owned businesses.

In the 1980s, the anti-apartheid movement forced corporations to divest from South Africa under pressure from municipal and state laws. In the 1990s, over 100 corporations withdrew from Burma (Myanmar) after Massachusetts and over 20 cities passed laws effectively boycotting companies doing business in the country. In the 2000s, the Save Darfur campaign mobilized pressure on oil companies in Sudan. Today, the fossil fuel divestment campaign is succeeding in mobilizing state and local government to tackle climate change.

By passing an end genocide resolution or law, a city, county, or state can express its citizens’ values in its spending and investment of taxpayer dollars as an actor in the marketplace for goods, services, and capital. In so doing, the city or state will also act in solidarity with people at risk of genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities.

For more information, read “End Genocide, Starting With Your Hometown.

35 Organizations Urge Secretary Pompeo to Acknowledge Genocide Against Rohingya Ahead of Donor Conference

October 20, 2020

The Honorable Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

We write to you as 34 organizations deeply concerned about the plight of the Rohingya people. We are grateful that the United States will be co-hosting a global donor conference this month to rally support for the ongoing immense humanitarian needs in Burma and Bangladesh for this persecuted ethnic and religious minority. We urge you to use this moment not only to increase humanitarian funding but to publicly acknowledge the reality of what has happened to the Rohingya people and call it genocide. 

Such a step would not only acknowledge the truth of what has happened but would also help to rally further humanitarian assistance. It would also demonstrate solidarity with the governments of Bangladesh and other refugee hosting countries, signaling the United States is committed both to accountability and supporting conditions for safe and voluntary return when conditions so permit.

Finally, a genocide determination would send a sense of urgency to spur the kind of multi-lateral diplomatic engagement and pressure needed to ensure that Burma refrains from committing further atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities and, ultimately, creates the conditions conducive to the safe, voluntary, informed, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees to their place of origin.

Recognition of the nature of what happened to the Rohingya is steadily growing. In August, as the world marked three years from the mass expulsion of the Rohingya from Burma, we delivered a petition to you signed by some 9,000 individuals and supported by more than 80 organizations. The petition urged you to publicly determine that the state of Burma has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. That call has been echoed by bi-partisan Members of Congress, legal and human rights experts, and numerous faith-based organizations. 

The evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity is clear and convincing and has been amply documented by the UN Fact-finding mission, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, independent human rights groups, and your own State Department.

As the State Department takes the world stage to kick off the international Rohingya donor conference, this reality must be acknowledged and the opportunity to galvanize international support must not be lost. U.S. leadership matters. Now is the time to call it genocide. 

Should you have any questions about this letter, please feel free to be in touch with Daniel Sullivan (daniel@refugeesinterntional.org).

Sincerely,

ALTSEAN-Burma

Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia

Arakan Rohingya National Organization

Arakan Rohingya Union

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Human Rights Network

Burma Rohingya Association of Japan

Burma Rohingya Organization UK

Burma Task Force

Burmese Rohingya Association of North America

Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark

Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organization

Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

European Rohingya Council

Fortify Rights

Genocide Watch

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Global Witness

HIAS

Institute for Asian Democracy

International Campaign for the Rohingya

International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), Queen Mary University of London

Jewish World Watch

Justice for All

Progressive Voice

Refugees International

Restless Beings

Rohingya Association of Canada

Rohingya Human Rights Network

Rohingya Khobor

Rohingya Society in Malaysia

Rohingya Youth for Legal Action

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Press Release: Kirin Seeking “Alternatives” to its Partnerships with Myanmar Military

Media Release From International Campaign for the Rohingya

For Immediate Release: June 5th, 2020

Kirin Seeking “Alternatives” to its Partnerships with Myanmar Military

As part of its “strategic review” of its operations in Myanmar, Kirin announced today that it is “exploring alternative structural options” for the ownership of its breweries in Myanmar.

Kirin’s breweries in Myanmar, Myanmar Brewery Limited and Mandalay Brewery Limited, are currently joint ventures with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company (MEHL), a company owned and controlled by Myanmar’s military.

“This statement demonstrates that Kirin and its brands worldwide are feeling the growing pressure from their own customers to end their business partnerships with Myanmar’s military,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya and Campaign Director of No Business With Genocide.

Last year, International Campaign for the Rohingya organized a consumer boycott petition to Kirin and its brands worldwide. More recently, International Campaign for the Rohingya published a guide for how people could express their opposition to Kirin’s business with Myanmar’s military through the social media accounts of Kirin and its brands.

Kirin also announced that it has appointed Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory LLC “to conduct an independent review of MEHL’s financial and governance structures to determine the destination of proceeds from the joint-venture businesses Myanmar Brewery Limited and Mandalay Brewery Limited as a matter of urgency.”

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.”

Kirin is a Japanese conglomerate, best known for its flagship Kirin Ichiban beer and its ownership of many other notable beer, spirit, and beverage companies worldwide. Through its Lion Beverages subsidiary, Kirin has been expanding through its acquisition of craft breweries in North America, Europe, and Australasia. Its investment in global brands make Kirin highly vulnerable to consumer boycotts and social media pressure.

In addition to its flagship brand, Kirin Ichiban beer, Kirin’s brands include: the Coca-Cola Company of Northern New England, Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky, San Miguel Brewery of the Philippines, Brooklyn Brewery, and Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing.  In Europe and Australasia, Kirin owns brands including: Fourpure Brewing (UK), Magic Rock Brewing (UK), Tooheys (Australia), Speight’s (Australia), Panhead Custom Ales (New Zealand), Emerson’s Brewery (New Zealand).

For more information contact:

Simon Billenness

Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya

Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide

Mobile (US): 617-596-6158

Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

www.rohingyacampaign.org

How we can pressure Kirin every day from our homes

We can pressure Kirin every day without even leaving our homes. Here’s how to do it.

To recap, Kirin is in joint ventures, Myanmar Breweries and Mandalay Brewery, with the Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL), a Burmese military-owned conglomerate. Through its joint ventures, Kirin is legitimizing and funding the Myanmar military as it faces charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

Best known for its flagship Kirin Ichiban beer, Kirin is a Japanese conglomerate that owns many other notable beer, spirit, and beverage companies worldwide. Through its Lion Beverages subsidiary, Kirin has been expanding through its acquisition of craft breweries in North America, Europe, and Australasia. Its investment in global brands make Kirin highly vulnerable to our consumer boycotts and social media pressure.

Together, we can use our combined consumer power to force Kirin to end its support of the genocidal Burmese military. Let’s take these steps today – and every day – to put effective pressure on Burma’s army though its business empire.

  1. Sign and share our petition to Kirin
  2. Ask restaurants and bars to stop selling Kirin products
  3. Use your Facebook
  4. Use your Twitter
  5. Use your LinkedIn

It’s time to send a message to Kirin Holdings that will reverberate to other Japanese companies and indeed corporations worldwide. The message to these companies is that, by doing business with Burma’s genocidal generals, these corporations are risking their brands, their shareholders, and their customers. There should be no “business as usual” with genocide.

1. Sign and share our petition to Kirin

Have you signed our petition to Kirin?  If not, as a first step, please click on this link to sign our petition demanding that Kirin end its business partnership with Burma’s army.

Once you’ve signed, using your email, texts, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts, ask your friends and family to join you in signing the petition. Consider using the message below and adapting it to mention your local Kirin brands.

Please join me in signing this petition to Japanese beverage giant, Kirin, demanding that it end its business partnerships with Myanmar’s genocidal military.

Kirin brands in the U.S. include Kirin Ichiban, San Miguel Brewery, New Belgium Brewery, and Four Roses Bourbon.

Please click on this link to sign the petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-kirin-end-your-partnership-with-burmas-army

2. Ask restaurants, bars, and retailers to stop selling Kirin brands

Recently, I visited a restaurant that sold Kirin Ichiban on draft and posted a review on its Facebook page asking it to stop stocking Kirin and its brands.

Ask your favorite restaurants and bars to stop selling all Kirin brands. Whether you order in or dine out, leave a review on their Facebook and Yelp pages as well as sending them a direct message through their website or Facebook page. Consider using this language at the end of your review or message.

May I request that you keep all Kirin products off your menu. I refuse to buy any Kirin drinks (including their other brands such as Kirin Ichiban, San Miguel Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, and Four Roses Bourbon) because Kirin is in business partnerships with Myanmar’s genocidal military. #NoBusinessWithGenocide
 
Check out the petition below for more details.
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-kirin-end-your-partnership-with-burmas-army/

3. Use your Facebook

Please adapt and share this message on the Facebook pages of Kirin and its brands. Like each of the Facebook pages of Kirin and its many brands. Leave your comment on every post they make.

I refuse to buy your drinks until your owner, Kirin Holdings, ends its business partnerships with Burma’s genocidal military.  #NoBusinessWithGenocide

Please read our petition to Kirin. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-kirin-end-your-partnership-with-burmas-army

Use these links below to the Facebook pages of Kirin’s brands. (Please send us any links that we missed!)

Kirin Ichiban USA

Kirin Ichiban UK

Kirin Ichiban Philippines

Lion Beverages

New Belgium Brewery (US)

New Belgium Brewery (Fort Collins, CO brewery)

New Belgium Brewery (Asheville, NC, brewery)

Four Roses Bourbon (US)

Brooklyn Brewery (US)

San Miguel Brewery (Philippines)

Fourpure Brewing (UK)

Magic Rock Brewing (UK)

Little Creatures Brewing (Australia)

Tooheys (Australia)

XXXX (Australia)

Kosciuszko (Australia)

James Squire (Australia).

Steinlager (New Zealand)

Speight’s (New Zealand)

Panhead Custom Ales (New Zealand)

Emerson’s Brewery (New Zealand)

4. Use Your Twitter

Please share this message on Twitter tagging Kirin’s brands.

Please sign this petition & tell Kirin to end its business with #Myanmar army. @rohingya_icr Kirin brands are @4RosesBourbon @newbelgium @BrooklynBrewery @fourpurebrewing @MagicRockBrewCo @tooheys @SpeightsBrewery @panheadbrewery #NoBusinessWithGenocide http://bit.ly/boycott_Kirin 

Then go a step further. Follow Kirin’s brands on Twitter and post replies to their tweets.

Kirin Ichiban: @Kirin_Company, @Kirin_Brewery

New Belgium Brewery (US): @newbelgium

Four Roses Bourbon (US): @4RosesBourbon

Brooklyn Brewery (US): @BrooklynBrewery

San Miguel Brewery (Philippines): @BeerSanMiguel_UK

Fourpure Brewing (UK): @fourpurebrewing

Magic Rock Brewing (UK): @MagicRockBrewCo

Tooheys (Australia): @tooheys

Speight’s (Australia): @SpeightsBrewery

Panhead Custom Ales (New Zealand): @panheadbrewery

Emerson’s Brewery (New Zealand): @EmersonsBrewery

5. Use Your LinkedIn

Please adapt and share this message on the LinkedIn pages of Kirin and its brands. Follow each of the LinkedIn pages of Kirin and its many brands. Leave your comment on every post they make. They are very sensitive to the comments you make on their job postings!

In addition, use LinkedIn to search for the employees of Kirin and its brands. Send them connection requests including this message.

I refuse to buy your drinks until your owner, Kirin Holdings, ends its business partnerships with Burma’s genocidal military. For details, check out the International Campaign for the Rohingya boycott petition here: http://bit.ly/boycott_Kirin

Use the links below to the LinkedIn pages of Kirin’s brands. (Please send us any links that we missed!)

Lion

New Belgium Brewing (US)

Brooklyn Brewery (US)

San Miguel Brewery (Philippines)

Fourpure Brewing (UK)

Magic Rock Brewing (UK)

XXXX (Australia)

Buy a “Boycott Kirin Ichiban” t-shirt:

Click here to buy a Burma Campaign UK t-shirt, including a “Boycott Kirin Ichiban” shirt.

For Further Reading:

Justice For Myanmar welcomes Kirin Holdings’ suspension of dividends from their Myanmar military joint ventures,” Justice For Myanmar, 11 November 2020

Military Ltd,” Amnesty International, September 2020

“Dirty List: Kirin Holdings,” Burma Campaign UK

Kirin Holdings: Group Companies List

Justice for Myanmar – Justice For Myanmar is a campaign to provide a platform for those unjustly persecuted by the Myanmar military – regardless of class, religion, gender or ethnic identity in their efforts to seek justice and end military impunity in Myanmar. The campaign works to expose the Myanmar military’s businesses’ link to human rights violations across the country.

The economic interests of the Myanmar military,” United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, September 2019

Japan: Investigate brewer Kirin over payment to Myanmar military amid ethnic cleansing of Rohingya,” Amnesty International, 14 June 2018

Kirin restructures donation policy after Amnesty report,” Myanmar Times, 11 January 2019

Japan continues to help Myanmar whitewash the Rohingya crisis,” Teppei Kasai, Japan Times, 25 August 2019

Resetting Myanmar Policy,” Global Witness, September 2019

Press Release: International Community Must Press Myanmar to Comply With International Court of Justice Ruling

Press Release: January 23, 2020

International Community Must Press Myanmar to Comply With International Court of Justice Ruling

International Campaign for the Rohingya today welcomed the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for provisional measures to be taken by the government of Burma to prevent what the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar described as an “ongoing genocide.”

In an historic ruling, the Court unanimously issued four provisional measures related to compliance with the Genocide Convention and implementation of those measures. Among other measures, the ICJ ordered Burma to preserve evidence of genocide and to report on its compliance with the provisional measures in four months and then every six months thereafter.

“It is now imperative that the international community apply sufficient pressure on Myanmar to comply with the International Court of Justice’s rulings and end its genocide of the Rohingya,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya and Campaign Director of No Business With Genocide. “We urge governments to impose tough sanctions on the Myanmar military and its business empire. We further call on corporations to end any business relationships with companies owned or controlled by the Burmese army. There can be no longer be “business as usual” with the perpetrators of genocide.”

International Campaign for the Rohingya has organized a consumer boycott of Kirin to press the Japanese mega-brewer to end its business partnership with Burma’s military. Through Kirin’s joint venture with Burmese military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, Kirin is legitimizing the military and providing them with profits as they face accusations of genocide in the UN’s top court.

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.”

For more information contact:

Simon Billenness
Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya
Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide
Mobile (US): 617-596-6158
Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR
simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org
www.rohingyacampaign.org

Press Release: Western Union Drops Military Myawaddy Bank As Its Agent

Media Release From Burma Campaign UK and International Campaign for the Rohingya

For Immediate Release: Tuesday 7th January 2020

Western Union Drops Military Myawaddy Bank As Its Agent

Burma Campaign UK and International Campaign for the Rohingya today welcomed notification from Western Union that it has stopped using the military-owned Myawaddy Bank as one of its agents in Burma.

The two organizations had organized a growing campaign to press Western Union to cut its ties to the Burmese military. Both organizations stressed that they did not want Western Union to stop operating in Burma, only to stop using a military-owned bank as one of its agents. Western Union still has hundreds of agents in the country.

In an email to Burma Campaign UK today, Western Union stated:

“In Myanmar and other countries in conflict, Western Union plays a critical role in connecting people – whether families sending money to loved ones to meet basic needs like healthcare and food, or humanitarian aid organizations in need of funds for the work on the ground. Providing these services requires the use of local agents remunerated by a commission payment. Western Union conducts agent due diligence and oversight through periodic reviews to determine whether these agents satisfy relevant regulatory requirements and Western Union policies. As a result of such a review, Western Union has ended its contract with Myawaddy Bank, effective immediately.”

Western Union is one of the largest cross border financial transfer companies in the world. Myawaddy Bank is a subsidiary of a giant military business conglomerate called Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (UMEHL). Profits from Myawaddy Bank benefit the military.

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (also known as Burma), set up by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in Burma, has called for sanctions on military-owned companies and for companies not to do business with the military.

Burma Campaign UK placed Western Union on its “Dirty List” of companies helping to fund Burma’s military in December 2018. https://burmacampaign.org.uk/take-action/dirty-list/. Western Union has now been removed from the ‘Dirty List’.

In September 2019, International Campaign for the Rohingya launched a consumer boycott of Western Union with a public petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-western-union-stop-funding-the-genocide-in-burma

In October 2019, 33 organizations wrote to Western Union calling on them to stop doing business with the Burmese military: https://rohingyacampaign.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/open-letter-to-western-union-president-and-ceo-hikmet-ersek/

“By partnering with Burma’s genocidal generals, Western Union had put at risk its reputation with its customers and its shareholders,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya and Campaign Director of No Business With Genocide. “We welcome Western Union’s decision to end its relationship with Myawaddy Bank. We expect other companies, such as Kirin Holdings of Japan, to follow Western Union’s example and cease doing business with Burma’s army.”

“Western Union deserve credit for doing the right thing. They are the biggest company so far to cut their business ties to the military,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “This is a significant step forward in our campaign to stop international companies funding genocide and crimes against humanity in Burma. We will be stepping up pressure on other companies on our ‘Dirty List’ including Portia Management Services, a British company managing a military owned port in Yangon.”

For more information contact:

Mark Farmaner

Director of Burma Campaign UK

Mobile (UK): +44 (0794) 1239640

Twitter: @MarkFarmaner

mark.farmaner@burmacampaign.org.uk

www.burmacampaign.org.uk

Simon Billenness

Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya

Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide

Mobile (US): 617-596-6158

Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR

simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org

www.rohingyacampaign.org

With Its Acquisition, New Belgium Joins the Growing Boycott of Kirin Brands

Press Release: December 18, 2019

With Its Acquisition, New Belgium Joins the Growing Boycott of Kirin Brands

International Campaign for the Rohingya deplores the decision yesterday by New Belgium shareholders to approve the company’s acquisition by Japanese mega-brewer Kirin.

“With this decision, New Belgium and its flagship beer, Fat Tire, will join the growing boycott of Kirin and its brands,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya and Campaign Director of No Business With Genocide.

“International Campaign for the Rohingya is calling on restaurants and bars to join this boycott of all Kirin products,” stated Simon Billenness. “We urge people to use their consumer power to send a message to New Belgium and other Kirin companies: by doing business with Burma’s genocidal generals, corporations are putting at risk their brands, their shareholders, and their customer loyalty. There can be no “business as usual” with genocide.”

Kirin has a significant interest in New York craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewery, and has recently acquired Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing, one of the largest craft beer companies in the US whose flagship beer, Fat Tire, is sold in stores and restaurants across the United States. Kirin is also known for its Kirin Ichiban brand beer, Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky, San Miguel Brewery of the Philippines, and the Coca-Cola Company of Northern New England, and a significant interest in American craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewery. This makes Kirin and its products highly vulnerable to consumer pressure and brand boycotts.

Through Kirin’s joint venture with Burmese military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL), Kirin is legitimizing the military and providing them with profits as they face accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ top court.

Moreover, Amnesty International has revealed that Kirin’s subsidiary in Myanmar (Burma) actually made three donations to the Burmese military during the army’s offensive in 2017 that forced over 700,000 Rohingya civilians to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The head of the Burmese military who directed the atrocities against the Rohingya was filmed receiving one of these donations from Kirin’s affiliate and explicitly noted that it was for the security forces.

The United Nations-mandated International Independent Fact-Finding Mission recently 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.”

The Kirin Holding’s investment with Burma’s military is part of Japan’s plans to invest in Myanmar while downplaying the Burmese army’s egregious attacks on civilians. The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) has organized several investment seminars about business opportunities for Japanese companies, including one focused on investments in Rakhine State.

For more information contact:

Simon Billenness
Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya
Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide
Mobile (US): 617-596-6158
Skype: simonbillenness
Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR
simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org
www.rohingyacampaign.org

For More Information:

“Dirty List: Kirin Holdings,” Burma Campaign UK

Kirin Holdings: Group Companies List

The economic interests of the Myanmar military,” United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, September 2019

Japan: Investigate brewer Kirin over payment to Myanmar military amid ethnic cleansing of Rohingya,” Amnesty International, 14 June 2018

Kirin restructures donation policy after Amnesty report,” Myanmar Times, 11 January 2019

Japan continues to help Myanmar whitewash the Rohingya crisis,” Teppei Kasai, Japan Times, 25 August 2019

Resetting Myanmar Policy,” Global Witness, September 2019

US sanctions Burma army chief Min Aung Hlaing

Press Release: December 10, 2019

US sanctions Burma army chief Min Aung Hlaing

International Campaign for the Rohingya welcomes the announcement today by the U.S. Treasury Department that it has added Burma’s army chief, Min Aung Hlaing, to the list of those individuals sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act.

“This sanction of Burma’s army chief, Min Aung Hlaing, is an announcement very fitting for December 10th, Human Rights Day,” said Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya.

“We urge other countries to join the United States in sanctioning Burmese army leaders and the Myanmar’s military’s extensive business empire. This also sends a message to companies, like Western Union and Kirin, to end their business partnerships with Burma’s army. There can be no “business as usual” with the perpetrators of genocide.”

For more information contact:

Simon Billenness
Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya
Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide
Mobile (US): 617-596-6158
Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR
simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org
www.rohingyacampaign.org

 

 

Press Release: Western Union – Stop Funding Genocide in Burma  

Press Release: Embargoed For: 31st October 2019; 9am US ET

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), Burma Campaign UK, and International Campaign for the Rohingya

On the eve of Western Union announcing its 3rd quarter results, Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), Burma Campaign UK, International Campaign for the Rohingya, and 33 other organizations today called on Western Union to end its business relationship with Burma’s military. The Burmese military has been accused by United Nations investigators of being responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Western Union is in a business relationship with a military-owned bank in Burma, which it uses as one of its agents in the country. Myawaddy Bank is a subsidiary of a giant military business conglomerate called Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (UMEHL). Profits from Myawaddy Bank benefit the military.

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (also known as Burma), set up by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in Burma, has called for sanctions on military-owned companies and for companies not to do business with the military.

To date, Western Union has not responded to approaches by Burma Campaign UK and the International Campaign for the Rohingya regarding its business relationship with the Burmese military.

“Western Union’s business partner in Burma, the Burmese military, has raped thousands of Rohingya women and killed hundreds of Rohingya children. Western Union is funding the military that committed genocide against my people. How can any company claim to be ethical when they help pay for genocide?” stated Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK).

“There are plenty of alternative non-military companies in Burma with which Western Union can partner in Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “There is no justification for putting money into the pockets of Burma’s brutal military.”

“Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek is admirable for speaking out for the rights of refugees. However, Western Union has partnered with Burma’s army that forced over 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, creating the world’s largest group of refugees,” stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya and Campaign Director of No Business With Genocide. “But by partnering with Burma’s genocidal generals, Western Union puts at risk the reputation of its company and its top executives.”

For more information contact:

Tun Khin
President, Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)
Mobile (UK): +44 (0)7888714866
tunkhin80@gmail.com

www.brouk.org

Mark Farmaner
Director, Burma Campaign UK
Mobile (UK): +44 (0794) 1239640
Twitter: @MarkFarmaner
mark.farmaner@burmacampaign.org.uk
www.burmacampaign.org.uk

Simon Billenness
Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya
Campaign Director, No Business With Genocide
Mobile (US): 617-596-6158
Twitter: @Rohingya_ICR
simon.billenness@rohingyacampaign.org
www.rohingyacampaign.org

Sources:

Western Union website (accessed October 2018)

On its website, Western Union calls a Myawaddy Bank branch “MWD Mandalay,” even though the address is that of a Myawaddy Bank Branch.

Myawaddy Bank website (accessed October 2019)

The Myawaddy Bank website states: “Using Western Union at Myawaddy Bank is a straightforward with a guranteed [sic] service.”

Western Union website: profiles of corporate leadership

For More Information:

“Dirty List: Western Union,” Burma Campaign UK

The economic interests of the Myanmar military,” United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission, September 2019

Resetting Myanmar Policy,” Global Witness, September 2019

Organizational signers of the letter to Western Union

Action Committee for Democracy Development
ALTSEAN-Burma
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters- HRDP
Association Suisse Birmanie (Swiss Burma Association)
Burma Campaign UK
Burma Task Force
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)
CodePink
Collectif HAMEB
Dana Investment Advisors
Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
Friends Fiduciary Corporation
Fund Our Future
Global Witness
Independent Old Catholic Church, Office of Ecumenical, Interfaith, and Global Engagement
Info Birmanie
Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion
International Campaign for the Rohingya
International Center for Rights and Justice
International Interfaith Peace Corps
Investors Against Genocide
Justice For All
Karen Organization of America
Never Again Coalition
No Business With Genocide
Odhikar
Partners Relief and Development UK
Pax Christi Metro New York
Progressive Voice
SharePower Responsible Investing
Swedish Burma Committee
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
US Campaign for Burma