Archive for the ‘NUG’ Category

A Movement Is Pressuring Governments To Sanction Myanmar Military Oil Company and Myanmar State Banks

June 6, 2021

Electoral parliamentarians and campaign groups are pressing foreign governments to impose sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) and state banks, which are now under junta control.
40 French lawmakers recently called on their government to support EU sanctions against MOGE, calling it a significant financial windfall for the junta.
Parliamentarians also asked for official recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
Six US senators requested sanctions against MOGE in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in April 2021.
“When the junta was in place previously in the 1990s, gas revenues from Total and Chevron/Unocal helped them withstand international sanctions as their reserves diminished. Specifically, we believe that the Tatmadaw should be prevented from having access to a steady supply of international resources,” the senators wrote,
The Washington Post published an editorial urging action on oil and gas revenue flows to the junta the same month.
By passing sanctions on MOGE, the Biden administration could break the deadlock. These sanctions could allow Total and Chevron to continue gas production while preventing profits from being transferred. The Treasury department might also sanction accounts in Thailand and Singapore where MOGE collects royalties, according to the paper.
In recent weeks, campaign groups have increased their efforts.
Daniel Eriksson, CEO of global anti-corruption organization Transparency International, sent a letter to European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell Fontelles on May 25 calling for EU action to stop oil and gas revenue flowing to Myanmar’s military government.
Daniel wrote, “The junta will likely use [oil and gas revenues] to control the government apparatus, finance atrocities against the local population, purchase arms, and seize portions for private gain.”
The letter called for sanctions against MOGE, Myanma Foreign Trade Bank and Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank, the intermediary banks that collect oil and gas revenue.
The campaign for sanctions intensified after TotalEnergies and Chevron announced that dividends from the Yadana pipeline project will not be paid, costing the junta tens of millions of dollars.
408 civil society groups released a statement on Friday demanding that TotalEnergies and Chevron “support targeted sanctions rather than lobbying for exemptions.”
The company’s chairman, Patrick Pouyanné, told its shareholders recently that it would comply with any future sanctions.
The Human Rights Watch responded to TotalEnergies and Chevron’s announcement by stating that a suspension of pipeline profits is not enough without targeted sanctions.
Human Rights Watch’s John Sifton said Chevron and Total’s recent decision is a step in the right direction, but it affects less than 5 percent of the natural gas revenue the Myanmar government receives. “For real impact, governments and companies need to stop the junta from receiving funds or accessing bank accounts that receive payments.”
Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern about the role played by Thai oil company PTT and called on governments that have sanctioned military conglomerates to pressure Japan, Singapore, and Thailand to take similar measures.
As echoed by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Global Witness called for targeted sanctions and oil and gas funds to be kept in a protected account.
“To capture the rest of these revenues, the international community must impose targeted economic sanctions against the military’s economic interests in the oil and gas sector. The proceeds from the sale of Myanmar’s natural gas will be held for a future, the legitimate government rather than funding the military regime,” said Keel Dietz of Global Witness.
A Myanmar budget document drawn up before the coup predicted Myanmar would earn 2,305 billion kyat (about US$1.4 billion) from oil and gas in 2022. Just over 10% of total government revenues will come from the sector this year.

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The Supreme Court of Myanmar Has Taken Over Aung San Suu Kyi’s Case

May 21, 2021

The Supreme Court controlled by the junta have taken over the official secrets case against ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, her economic advisor, and three of her cabinet members.

After the hearing at Yangon’s eastern district court-held via video link recently-a member of Suu Kyi’s defense team said the judge didn’t specify the reason for the intervention.

San Marlar Nyunt told reporters that because the case file was no longer at Eastern District Court, the judge was unable to proceed and only provided us with the new hearing schedule.

The 1923 law stipulates that possession, collection, recording, publication, or sharing of state information that could be useful to an enemy is unlawful and Suu Kyi faces a 14-year sentence.

Kyaw Win, his successor Soe Win, and deputy minister Set Aung face the same charges, as does Australian economist Sean Turnell. 

The supreme court can request a case file for unusual cases. They have the right to do that, San Marlar Nyunt said. The next hearing will take place on June 3rd, 2021. 

The defense team has been called again to the eastern district court in Yangon for a hearing, but it is unclear whether the case will actually be heard there, she added.

In the video call, Suu Kyi again requested an in-person meeting with her five-member defence team, but her lawyers were not present. In a recording shown to them by the judge, Suu Kyi repeatedly asked that the judge give her a personal meeting with her lawyers.

The 75-year-old faces five additional charges in Naypyitaw and a total prison sentence of up to 26 years.

The Official Secrets Act charge was accompanied by accusations of inciting her husband to commit murder, violating the Importation and Export Law, and violating the Telecommunications Law.

Last year, she was also charged with two counts of violating Covid-19 rules while campaigning.

Since the military overthrew her government on February 1, 2021, Suu Kyi has not been able to meet with her lawyers in person.

After almost four months in detention, she is due to finally have a meeting next week, though not a private one. 

Suu Kyi’s hearing on Monday will be held near her residence, where she is under house arrest, rather than via video call, a judge told defence lawyers in Naypyitaw earlier this month.

Myanmar News Organization Wants Thai Authorities Not To Deport Myanmar Journalists

May 13, 2021

The reporters’ news organization urged the authorities not to deport them to Myanmar because their lives would be at risk, and now three Myanmar journalists and two activists are being charged with illegal entry in a Thai court.
The group was detained during a random search in the northern city of Chiang Mai recently, DVB said in a statement.
According to Aye Chan Naing, DVB’s executive director and chief editor, Thai authorities should not deport them back to Burma, as their lives will be in danger.
Myanmar’s military rulers have clamped down on independent media, shutting down broadcasts and publications, and arresting dozens of journalists.
The Myanmar military said illegal media outlets broadcast news that undermines national security, the rule of law and public order, and encourages people to commit treason.
Reuters reports that five Myanmar nationals have been arrested in the San Sai district outside of Chiang Mai and are due to appear in court recently. Thapanapong Chairangsri, the district’s police chief, says the arrests were committed after their illegal entry into the country.
In addition to deportation, he said they would be held in detention for 14 days due to a Coronavirus outbreak before being turned over to immigration authorities.
In a tweet, Tanee Sangrat, the spokesperson for the Thai Foreign Ministry, said the authorities were coordinating to find humanitarian solutions to the recent case of journalists from Myanmar.
According to Human Rights Watch, DVB was facing hostile actions and should be released.
Thailand must absolutely not return these DVB journalists and activists to Myanmar because they will be arrested and persecuted by the State Administration Council junta, Asia Director Brad Adams said in a statement.
On March 8th, 2021, DVB’s television licence was revoked, and the broadcaster was banned from doing any media work.
Aye Chan Naing, meanwhile, asked the UNHCR in Bangkok for intervention to ensure their safety.