The four oil companies pay the junta revenues of over $ 1 billion a year for natural gas projects. The civil disobedience movement nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. The army killed 12 people yesterday. The toll so far is 320 dead, of which 20 are children. Success of the "Silent Strike": the streets of the cities are empty.
Yangon (AsiaNews) - Activists in Myanmar and around the world, who support the democracy movement against the military coup, appreciate what the international community - especially in the West - is doing to impose sanctions on trade and the generals at the head of the emergency government.
In Myanmar, almost the entire economy is in the hands of the army through two large conglomerates: Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).
The two companies manage trade in a variety of products, ranging from mines to beer, to precious woods, together with banks, construction, cigarettes, insurance, and much more.
Since day one of the coup, the people of Myanmar began a boycott of beer, cigarettes, SIM cards, and carried out a civil disobedience strike that has thrown the banks and public offices into crisis.
The details of the sanctions imposed by the USA, Great Britain and the European Union are not known but activists say it's time to impose sanctions on foreign oil companies doing business with the junta.
Chevron (USA), Total (France), Posco (South Korea), Petronas (Malaysia) operate in the country: all of them pay revenues to the junta of over 1 billion dollars a year, only for projects related to natural gas.
According to Justice for Myanmar, Total's payments are the largest source of tax revenue for the regime.
Paul Donowitz, Myanmar Campaign Leader at the pressure group Global Witness, said the new sanctions were “an important step in cutting off key sources of funding to the military regime.”
He demands that the EU and Great Britain impose sanctions on both conglomerates, MEHL and MEC, as the US has done. The EU has not yet established the type of sanctions and London has only sanctioned the MEHL.
A more ideal but significant sign of support for the democracy movement comes from Norway. A group of six professors from the University of Oslo have named the civil disobedience movement (the CDM) among the candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022. The reason is its ability to work for peace, democracy through non-violent methods.
The decision for 2022 is due to the fact that the deadline for submitting candidates for the 2021 Award expired on January 31. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democratic movement, also received the Nobel Prize in 1991.
Protests continued today despite the military killing at least 12 people yesterday. Candlelit evening demonstrations took place in Mandalay, Sagaing, Karen and Chin States. There have been deaths in Taunggyi (Shan State), Mohnyin (Kachin State, photo 1), as well as in Yangon and Bago. According to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (Aapp), the regime has so far killed 320 people, including 20 children.
APP data shows that more than 25% of the dead were killed with a bullet to the forehead, a sign that they were deliberately targeted. About 90% of the murdered are males; 36% are young people under the age of 25.
The security forces violence is failing to cower the resistance of the population. Two days ago a "Silent strike" was called, asking people to stay at home and not to go to work, to counter the junta that forces its employees to go to offices or construction sites. The streets of many cities were deserted for most of the day. Only in the evening there were demonstrations, which were also attended by many Buddhist monks (see photo).
Last night a fire broke out in the headquarters of the National League for Democracy in Yangon. The inhabitants of the neighborhood were able to put out the fire after half an hour. Curiously, the nearby water pumps and hydrants were either destroyed or without water.