Myanmar’s Civilian Government Blacklists Junta Conglomerates

By The Irrawaddy 11 November 2021

Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG) announced that it has blacklisted two junta-controlled conglomerates and their subsidiaries on Wednesday.

The NUG said its Commerce Ministry had found that the military-owned Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) committed high treason and control numerous businesses by abusing military power and exerting undue influence.

MEHL and MEC control a network of more than 100 businesses, including banking, trade, logistics, construction, mining, agriculture, tourism, tobacco and food and beverages, which generate revenue for the regime.

In late March, the US and UK sanctioned the conglomerates following the regime’s deadly crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

Last month, India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited said it would withdraw investment in the junta-owned Ahlone Port by June 2022 after it came under pressure for doing business with MEC which received US$90-million in rent for leasing land to the Indian port operator.

The NUG on Wednesday urged consumers and businesses not to store, distribute, sell and use MEHL and MEC products and services. Failure to comply would amount to supporting war crimes, it said, warning of punitive action.

“The junta must not be provided with access to funds that allow the generals to enrich themselves at the expense of Myanmar’s people and to continue their acts of terrorism against the people,” the NUG said, declaring its economic sanctions.

The NUG also called for the international community to implement stronger and coordinated measures targeting the junta’s economic interests, including urgent sanctions on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise.

The state-owned conglomerate is now under regime control and is the military’s most important financial lifeline.

Public campaigns for boycotting military-linked products continue in Myanmar.

Since the February coup, at least 1,252 civilians have been killed by junta forces and more than 9,900 people have been detained, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners rights group.

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