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.  

Can you join us on World Genocide Day?

World Genocide Day

Thursday, December 9, 2021, is World Genocide Day. Friday, December 10, 2021, is World Human rights Day. On Thursday, we plan to march from the US Mission to the UN to the Harry Winston New York City headquarters where we will give them our petitions demanding they stop funding the Myanmar military. On World Human Rights Day, that same brutal military is planning a gem fair in Myanmar. They are running out of money. Our pressure is working we need to keep it up. Can you join us?

We will meet up at the US Mission to the UN and march to Harry Winston.

What: Protest Harry Winston/Swatch for selling #GenocideGems
Where: 799 United Nations Plz, New York, NY 10017
When: Thursday, December 9, 2021, at 10:00 am

Click here to view our event page for the rally. If you would like to attend, please let me know so I can keep you up to date on any changes to the event. You can also share it with your friends and family. If you know people who are not in NYC but would like to take part, please email me.

Sign -our petition to luxury jeweler Harry Winston before we deliver it to their headquarters.

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.

Sign – and share – our petition to luxury jeweler Harry Winston demanding that it stop buying gems from Myanmar.

You can also:

  • Make an appointment at a Harry Winston store and let them know how you feel about their sale of #GenocideGems.
  • Post on their social media channels! Copy this message and adapt it as you wish. Add it as a comment on posts showcasing jewelry or watches on the Facebook and Instagram pages of Harry Winston and Swatch. You can use this message (adapt as you see fit).

I refuse to buy your jewelry and watches while Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) buys #GenocideGems from Myanmar that profit the Burmese military and its atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar. Read the truth about Harry Winston here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-harry-winston-stop-selling-burmese-genocide-gems

Help us help the Chin

The Myanmar military is deploying tens of thousands of troops and heavy weapons to Chin State northern Myanmar. These tactics are ominously reminiscent of those the army employed in its genocidal attacks against the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017. The Chin people cannot wait.

In response, U.S. State Department Counselor Derek Chollet urged Singapore to help restrict the Myanmar military’s access to foreign funds. Singapore is one of Myanmar’s largest foreign investors and its banks hold junta assets.

We can help stop more atrocities in Myanmar. We are doing this by pressing our governments and our corporations to end the flow of money to the Myanmar military. We’ve always known that we’ll be in this struggle for the long haul. With that in mind, would you make a sustaining gift each month to support our crucial work?

Click here to make a monthly sustaining gift of $10, $25, $50, or $100.

Thank you for your previous generous gifts. These past few months, you have stepped up your donations and helped build our campaigns that hit back hard against the Myanmar military.

Currently, we raise just over $1,700 per month through recurring gifts. Would you turn your one-time gift into a recurring donation to help put us over $2,500 in steady monthly support?

Please click here to make a monthly sustaining gift of $10, $25, $50, or $100 to build our pressure on Burma’s military.

Your sustaining monthly gift would help build our campaigns that both support the Civil Disobedience Movement and hit Myanmar’s military hard.

Your gift will build our grassroots movement to end the atrocities and the repression of the Burmese army. Your support will fund our campaigns to:

  • lobby governments worldwide to impose sanctions on Burma’s generals and their business empire;
  • put consumer, shareholder, and media pressure on corporations – such as Facebook, Cloudflare, Harry Winston, and Chevron – to end their business partnerships with Burma’s army;
  • organize students and faculty to press their campus to step up and join the movement to end genocide in Burma and throughout the world;
  • promote “end genocide” bills in cities and states globally.

To build up our campaigns, please make a monthly sustaining gift of $10, $25, $50, or $100.

Thank you so much for your time and your support.

Learn more about the #BurmaBill here.

When will Secretary Blinken recognize the genocide in Myanmar?

Antony Blinken

Let’s hold the Myanmar military accountable.

Last week, we joined over 90 organizations calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to publicly determine that Myanmar has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. This is a crucial initiative to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its atrocities throughout the country.

Lead sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the new Burma bill to be introduced shortly in Congress will, not only hold accountable the Myanmar military for its mass atrocities, but also to provide much needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. Now, let’s make the final push to get this bill introduced!

Even if you’ve sent a message before, click here today to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the new Burma bill.

This Wednesday, we will mark the fourth anniversary of the Myanmar military’s worst crackdown on the Rohingya, a campaign that killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. It’s long past time for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declare that the Rohingya are genocide victims.

Such a designation by the U.S. government will underpin the case for further US sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and assistance to Burmese civil society organizations. It would also improve the prospect for growing US recognition of the democratic and multi-ethnic National Unity Government of Myanmar.

Click here to join the thousands signing our petition to Secretary Blinken calling on him to recognize the Myanmar military’s genocide of the Rohingya.

We need your help to keep up our important work. Learn more about how you can help us here.

Tell Secretary Blinken to recognize the genocide in Myanmar

Let’s hold the Myanmar military accountable.

Last week, we joined over 90 organizations calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to publicly determine that Myanmar has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. This is a crucial initiative to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its atrocities throughout the country.

Lead sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the new Burma bill to be introduced shortly in Congress will, not only hold accountable the Myanmar military for its mass atrocities but also to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. Now, let’s make the final push to get this bill introduced!

Even if you’ve sent a message before, click here today to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the new Burma bill.

Later this month, we will mark the fourth anniversary of the Myanmar military’s worst crackdown on the Rohingya, a campaign that killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. It’s long past time for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to declare that the Rohingya are genocide victims.

Such a designation by the U.S. government will underpin the case for further US sanctions on the Myanmar military junta and assistance to Burmese civil society organizations. It would also improve the prospect for growing US recognition of the democratic and multi-ethnic National Unity Government of Myanmar.

Click here to join the thousands signing our petition to Secretary Blinken calling on him to recognize the Myanmar military’s genocide of the Rohingya.

Just one email or phone call from a constituent can make a difference. Your Members of Congress need to know that you want Congress to act. The people of Myanmar can’t wait any longer.

Talking to Your Treasurer About Genocide

How can you make your university take action to end genocide?

One way would be to press your university to use the power of its investments.

Educational institutions invest trillions of dollars, primarily through their endowments. As shareholders, universities are partial owners of thousands of publicly traded companies. Through those ownership stakes, unviersities can put pressure on corporations to stop doing business with governments engaged in genocide. This kind of shareholder activism can be more powerful than selling – or divesting – stock in companies.

Does your university own stock in Chevron? It likely does because Chevron is a very widely held company. For two years, shareholders of Chevron have filed a shareholder resolution putting pressure on the oil company, the largest U.S. investor in Burma (Myanmar), to adopt a policy of not doing business with government engaged in genocide or crimes against humanity. In 2017, that resolution received the votes of approximately 6% of shareholders at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting. Since then, it is reported that Chevron has raised issues of human rights with the Burmese government.

International Campaign for the Rohingya is working with shareholders owning over $50 billion in assets to put pressure on all of the oil companies in Burma. This shareholder group has also pressed major jewelry retailers not to buy gems that profit the Burmese army.

How can you successfully press your university to join the growing number of shareholders taking action to end genocide? You can start by asking your university treasurer some key questions.

  • What stocks does the university own? Does it own Chevron?

Many educational institutions, especially public universities, make public their stock holdings. Many others will simply provide that information on request. Some will only reveal their holdings after feeling pressure from a campaign asking for disclosure.

Zero in on your university’s direct holdings of shares. Those are shares that your university owns outright and can vote in favor of shareholder resolutions such as the one at Chevron.

  • Does the university have a policy guiding how it votes its shares?

Some universities have developed a policy guiding how they vote their shares on resolutions raising environmental, social, and governances (ESG) issues. Ask for a copy of the current policy and request that it include a provision that the university vote in favor of resolutions asking companies to adopt a policy of not doing business with governments engaged in genocide or crimes against humanity.

  • How has the university voted its shares in the past?

Some universities publish a report showing how they voted on each shareholder resolution. Whether this is public or not, find out whether your university held Chevron stock in 2017 and, if so, how it voted those shares on the resolution pressing the company to adopt a policy of not doing business with governments engaged in genocide or crimes against humanity.

  • Does the university work with other shareholders to promote corporate responsibility?

Some universities are members of US SIF – The Forum for Sustainable and Reponsible Investment, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, the Principles for Responsible Investment, or the Council of Institutional Investors. If your university is a member, ask what help and resources they are receiving to address issues concerning ending genocide.

  • Would the university adopt a formal policy of using its investments to help end genocide?

Ask your university to join the growing “No Business With Genocide” campaign. International Campaign for the Rohingya is working with a growing coalition of investors and NGOs. We are ready to work with you and your university to develop policies and practices that help end the genocide of the Rohingya.

  • How can students and faculty influence the university’s investment policies and practices?

Some universities, such as Harvard, have an advisory committee on shareholder responsibility that helps develop policies and practices. Ask to participate.

If your university lacks such an avenue to influence its investments, launch a campaign to pass a resolution in your student government, faculty council, and/or board of trustees. Develop petitions and hold rallies. Meet with your university administration. Use every pressure point to persuade your university to step up and help end genocide.

The Responsible Endowments Coalition publishes how-to guides  for students and faculty on university endowmentsdivestment, and shareholder advocacy. Read them to prepare yourselves on how to best influence your university to help end genocide.